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The LiederNet Archive

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Of a Summer Day

Word count: 1090

Song Cycle by Hans Gál (1890 - 1987)

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1. Today [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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So there hath been dawning
Another blue day.
Think, wilt thou let it
Slip useless away?
Out of eternity
This new day is born;
Into eternity
At night, will return.

Behold it aforetime
No eye ever did:
So soon it forever
From all eyes is hid.
Here hath been dawning
Another blue day.
Think, wilt thou let it
Slip useless away?


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Morning call [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Sister awake! Close not your eyes,
  The day her light discloses,
And the bright morning doth arise,
  Out of her bed of roses.

See the clear sun, the world's bright eye,
  In at our window peeping;
Lo! how he blusheth to espy
  Us idle wenches, sleeping!

Therefore awake! make Haste, I say,
  And let us, without staying,
All in our gowns of green so gay
  Into the park a-maying!


Submitted by Graham Musto

3. Make much of Time [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): SPA

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Alfredo García) , "A las vírgenes, para que aprovechen el tiempo", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And [this]1 same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

[The]2 glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,
The higher he's a-getting
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
[But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times, still succeed the former. ]3

Then be not coy, but use your time;
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Lawes: "that"
2 Dring: "That"
3 Lawes: "Expect not the last and worst, / Time still succeeds the former."

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Song of June [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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The fountain murmuring of sleep,
A drowsy tune;
The flickering green of leaves that keep
The light of June.
Peace, through a slumbering afternoon,
The peace of June,
A waiting ghost, in the blue sky,
The white curved moon;
June, hushed and breathless, waits, and I
Wait too, with June.
Come, through the lingering afternoon,
Soon, love, come soon.


Submitted by Ted Perry

5. Elegy [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Each on his own strict line we move,
And some find death ere they find love;
So far apart their lives are thrown
From the twin soul which halves their own.
And sometimes, by still harder fate,
The lovers meet, but meet too late.
[ ... ]

First published in Empedocles on Etna, and Other Poems, 1852.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Scherzo [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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From troubles of the world
I turn to ducks,
Beautiful comical things
Sleeping or curled
Their heads beneath white wings
By water cool,
Or finding curious things
To eat in various mucks
Beneath the pool,
Tails uppermost, or waddling
Sailor-like on the shores
Of ponds, or paddling
Left! Right! - with fanlike feet
Which are for steady oars
When they (white galleys) float
Each bird a boat
Rippling at will the sweet
Wide waterway . . .

Yes, ducks are soothy things
And lovely on the lake
When the sunlight draws
Thereon their pictures dim
In colours cool.
And when beneath the pool
They dabble, and when they swim
And make their rippling rings,
O, ducks are beautiful things!

But ducks are comical things:
As comical as you.
Quack!
They waddle round, they do.
They eat all sorts of things,
And then they quack.
By barn and stable and stack
They wander at their will,
But if you go too near
They look at you through black
Small topaz-tinted eyes
And wish you ill.
Triangular and clear
They leave their curious track
In mud at the water's edge,
And there amid the sedge
And slime they gobble and peer
Saying "Quack! quack."

When God had finished the stars and whirl of coloured suns,
He turned His mind from big things to fashion little ones.
Beautiful tiny things (like daisies) He made, and then
He made the comical ones in case the minds of men
Should stiffen and become
Dull, humourless and glum:
And so forgetful of their Maker be
As to take themselves quite seriously.
And as for the duck, I think God must have smiled a bit
Seeing those bright eyes blink on the day He fashioned it.
And He's probably laughing still
At the sound that came out of its bill!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. Hurricane [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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The summer trees are tempest-torn,
The hills are wrapped in a mantle wide
Of folding rain by the mad wind borne
Across the country side.

His scourge of fury is lashing down
The delicate rankèd golden corn,
That never shall rear its crown
And curtsy to the morn.

So my proud spirit in me is sad,
A wreck of fairer field to mourn,
The ruin of golden hopes she had,
My delicate rankèd corn.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. Sunset [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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The storm is over, the land hushes to rest: 
The tyrannous wind, its strength fordone, 
Is fallen back in the west 
To couch with the sinking sun. 
The last clouds fare 
With fainting speed, and their thin streamers fly 
In melting drifts of the sky. 
[ ... ]
The day is done: the tired land looks for night: She prays to the night to keep In peace her nerves of delight: While silver mist upstealeth silently, And the broad cloud-driving moon in the clear sky Lifts o'er the firs her shining shield, And in her tranquil light Sleep falls on forest and field. See! sleep hath fallen: the trees are asleep: The night is come. The land is wrapt in sleep.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

9. Silver [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch 
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
[From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep]1
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Bachlund, Britten, Duke, Gibbs.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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