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Old Love's Domain

Word count: 661

Song Cycle by Andrew Downes (b. 1950)

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1. The Division [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Rain on the windows, creaking doors,
  With blasts that besom the green,
And I am here, and you are there,
  And a hundred miles between!

O were it but the weather, Dear,
  O were it but the miles
That summed up all our severance,
  There might be room for smiles.

But that thwart thing betwixt us twain,
  Which nothing cleaves or clears,
Is more than distance, Dear, or rain,
  And longer than the years!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Something Tapped [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Something tapped on the pane of my room
  When there was never a trace
Of wind or rain, and I saw in the gloom
  My weary Beloved's face.

[ "O I am tired of waiting," she said,
  "Night, morn, noon, afternoon;
So cold it is in my lonely bed,
  And I thought you would join me soon!" ]1

I rose and neared the window-glass,
[   But vanished thence had she: ]1
Only a pallid moth, alas,
  Tapped at the pane for me.


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1 omitted by Wallach.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Where the picnic was [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Where we made the fire,
In the summer time,
Of branch and briar
On the hill to the sea
I slowly climb
Through winter mire,
And scan and trace
The forsaken place
Quite readily.

Now a cold wind blows,
And the grass is gray,
But the spot still shows
As a burnt circle - aye,
And stick-ends, charred,
Still strew the sward
Whereon I stand,
Last relic of the band
Who came that day!

Yes, I am here
Just as last year,
And the sea breathes brine
From its strange straight line
Up hither, the same
As when we four came.
- But two have wandered far
From this grassy rise
Into urban roar
Where no picnics are,
And one - has shut her eyes
For evermore.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. At Castle Boterel [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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As I drive to the junction of lane and highway,
	And the drizzle bedrenches the waggonette,
I look behind at the fading byway,
	And see on its slope, now glistening wet,
	   Distinctly yet

Myself and a girlish form benighted
	In dry March weather.  We climb the road
Beside a chaise.  We had just alighted
	To ease the sturdy pony's load
	   When he sighed and slowed.

What we did as we climbed, and what we talked of
	Matters not much, nor to what it led, -
Something that life will not be balked of
	Without rude reason till hope is dead,
	   And feeling fled.

It filled but a minute.  But was there ever
	A time of such quality, since or before,
In that hill's story?  To one mind never,
	Though it has been climbed, foot-swift, foot-sore,
	By thousands more.

Primaeval rocks form the road's steep border,
	And much have they faced there, first and last,
Of the transitory in Earth's long order;
	But what they record in colour and cast
	   Is - that we two passed.

And to me, though Time's unflinching rigour,
	In mindless rote, has ruled from sight
The substance now, one phantom figure
	Remains on the slope, as when that night
	   Saw us alight.

I look and see it there, shrinking, shrinking,
	I look back at it amid the rain
For the very last time; for my sand is sinking,
	And I shall traverse old love's domain
	   Never again.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. The curtains now are drawn [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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The curtains now are drawn,
And the spindrift strikes the glass,
Blown up the jagged pass
By the surly salt sou'-west,
And the sneering glare is gone
Behind the yonder crest,
While she sings to me:1
"O the dream that thou art my Love, be it thine,
And the dream that I am thy Love, be it mine,
And death may come, but loving is divine."

I stand here in the rain,
With its smite upon her stone,
And the grasses that have grown
Over women, children, men,
And their texts that "Life is vain";
But I hear the notes as when
Once she sang to me:1
"O the dream that thou art my Love, be it thine,
And the dream that I am thy Love, be it mine,
And death may come, but loving is divine."


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1 Patterson ends this sentence with a period.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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