Eight Songs

Song Cycle by Ben Moore (b. 1960)

Word count: 1108

1. Lullaby [sung text not yet checked]

  Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Flowers are closed and lambs are sleeping;
  Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
[Stars are up, the moon is peeping;
  Lullaby, oh, lullaby!]1
While the birds are silence keeping,
  (Lullaby, oh, lullaby!)
Sleep, my baby, fall a-sleeping,
  Lullaby, oh, lullaby!

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Scott.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Requiem [sung text not yet checked]

Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie;
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

Here may the winds about me blow,
Here the sea may come and go
Here lies peace  forevermo'
And the heart for aye shall be still.

This be the verse you grave for me:
"Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill."

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , "Grabschrift", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Requiem", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Note: Steele changes "longed" to "long'd" in the last stanza.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Hope is the thing with feathers  [sung text not yet checked]

Hope is [the]1 thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Syderman: "a"; further changes may exist not noted.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. When you are old [sung text not yet checked]

When you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false [or]1 true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead 
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , "Wenn Du alt bist", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HUN Hungarian (Magyar) (Tamás Rédey) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Quando ormai sarai vecchia, e grigia e sonnolenta", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
Note: this poem is often described as a free adaptation of Ronsard's Quand vous serez bien vieille.

1 Bachlund: "and"

Confirmed with The Poetical Works of William B. Yeats in two volumes, volume 1 : Lyrical Poems, The Macmillan Company, New York and London, 1906, page 179.


Researcher for this text: Garth Baxter

5. Crazy Jane talks with the Bishop [sung text not yet checked]

I met the Bishop on the road
And much said he and I.
"Those breasts are flat and fallen now,
Those veins must soon be dry;
Live in a heavenly mansion,
Not in some foul sty."

"Fair and foul are near of kin,
And fair needs foul," I cried.
"My friends are gone, but that's a truth
Nor grave nor bed denied,
Learned in bodily [lowliness]1
And in the heart's pride.

"A woman can be proud and stiff
When on love intent;
But Love has pitched his mansion in
The place of excrement;
For nothing can be sole or whole
That has not been rent."

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , "Die verrückte Jane spricht mit dem Bischof", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , "De narrische Jane sogds dem Bischof eihne", Viennese dialect, copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Grill: "loneliness"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]

6. Simples [sung text not yet checked]

Of cool sweet dew and radiance mild
The moon a web of silence weaves
In the still garden where a child
Gathers the simple salad leaves.

A moondew stars her hanging hair
And moonlight [kisses]1 her young brow
And, gathering she sings an air:
[Fair as the wave is, fair art thou!]2

Be mine, I pray, a waxen ear
To shield me from her childish croon,
And mine a shielded heart for her
Who gathers simples of the moon.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Simples", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
First published in Poetry, May 1917
An inscription reads: "O bella bionda!/ Sei come l'onda!"
1 in some editions, "touches"
2 Bliss: "O bella bionda! Sei come l'onda!" (the inscription)

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

7. Ah, happy, happy boughs [sung text not yet checked]

Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
    Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
    A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring'd legend haunts about thy shape
    Of deities or mortals, or of both,
        In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
    What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
        What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
    Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
    Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
    Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
        Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve;
    She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
        For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
    Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
    For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
    For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
        For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
    That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
        A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
    To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
    And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
    Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
        Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
    Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
        Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
    Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
    Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
    When old age shall this generation waste,
        Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
    "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,--that is all
        Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

First published in Annals of the Fine Arts, January 1820 under the title "On a Grecian Urn", signed with a cross, revised same year.

Researcher for this text: Victoria Brago

8. Where are the songs of Spring? [sung text not yet checked]

[ ... ]
3. Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, -- While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows, borne aloft Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]