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Three Songs

Word count: 254

Song Cycle by John (Nicholson) Ireland (1879 - 1962)

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1. The adoration [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Why have you brought me myrrh,
And frankincense and gold?
Lay at the feet of her
Whom you have loved of old
Your frankincense and gold.

I have brought frankincense
And myrrh and gold to you,
From weary lands far hence
That I have journeyed through
To come at last to you.

I cannot take your gold
And frankincense and myrrh;
My heart was growing cold
While you were following her:
Take back your gold and myrrh.

Too late I come to you
With prayers of frankincense:
Pure gold, sweet myrrh, ye too,
Scorned, must go hence, far hence
As smoking frankincense.


Submitted by Ted Perry

2. The rat [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Pain gnaws at my heart like a rat that gnaws at a beam
In the dusty dark of a ghost frequented house;
And I dream of the days forgotten, of love the dream.
The desire of her eyes unappeased, and the peace of her brows.

I can hear the old rat gnaw in the dark by night.
In the deep overshadowing dust that the years have cast;
He gnaws at my heart that is empty of all delight,
He stirs the dust where the feet of my dreams had passed.


Submitted by Ted Perry

3. Rest [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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The peace of a wandering sky,
Silence, only the cry
Of the crickets, suddenly still,
A bee on the window sill,
A bird's wing, rushing and soft,
Three flails that tramp in the loft,
Summer murmuring
Some sweet, slumberous thing,
Half asleep; but thou cease,
Heart, to hunger for peace,
Or, if thou must find rest,
Cease to beat in my breast.


Submitted by Ted Perry

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