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English Lyrics, Third Set

Word count: 625

by Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, Sir (1848 - 1918)

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1. To Lucasta, on going to the wars [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such
As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Lov'd I not honour more.


Submitted by Ted Perry

2. If thou would'st ease thine heart [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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If thou [wilt]1 ease thine heart
Of love and all its smart,
   Then sleep, dear, sleep;
And not a sorrow
   Hang any tear on your eyelashes;
   Lie still and [deep],2
   Sad soul, until the sea-wave washes
The rim o' th' sun tomorrow,
   In eastern sky.

But [wilt]1 thou cure thine heart
Of love and all its smart,
   Then die, dear, die;
'Tis deeper, sweeter,
   Than on a rose bank to lie dreaming
   [With folded eye;]3
   And then alone, amid the beaming
Of love's stars, thou'lt meet her
   In eastern sky.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Parry: "would'st"
2 Britten: "deep,/ With folded eye;" (moved from the second stanza)
3 omitted by Britten (moved to the first stanza); Parry: "With tranced eye"

Submitted by Ted Perry

3. To Althea, from prison [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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When Love with unconfined wings
  Hovers within my Gates;
And my divine Althea brings
  To whisper at the Grates:
When I lye tangled in her haire,
  [And]1 fetterd to her eye;
The Gods, that wanton in the Aire,
  Know no such Liberty.

When flowing Cups run swiftly round
  With no allaying Thames,
Our carelesse heads with Roses [bound]2,
  Our hearts with Loyall Flames;
When thirsty griefe in Wine we steepe,
  When Healths and draughts go free,
Fishes that tipple in the Deepe,
  Know no such Libertie.

[ ... ]
Stone Walls doe not a Prison make, Nor I'ron bars a Cage; Mindes innocent and quiet take That for an Hermitage; If I have freedome in my Love, And in my soule am free; Angels alone that sore above, Injoy such Liberty.

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1 Parry: "Or"
2 Parry: "crowned"
3 Quilter: "enlargèd"

Submitted by Ted Perry

4. Why so pale and wan? [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Why so pale and wan, fond lover?
  Prithee, why so pale?
Will, when looking well can't move her,
  Looking ill prevail?
  Prithee, why so pale?

Why so dull and mute, young sinner?
  Prithee, why so mute?
Will, when speaking well can't win her,
  Saying nothing do't?
  Prithee, why so mute?

Quit, quit for shame, this will not move,
  This cannot take her;
If of herself she will not love,
  Nothing can make her;
  [The devil take her!]1


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1 Britten: "Let who will take her!"

Submitted by Ted Perry and Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]

5. Through the ivory gate [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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I had a dream last night
Dream of a friend that is dead
He came with dawn's first light
And stood beside my bed:
And as he there did stand,
With gesture fine and fair,
He passed a wan white hand
Over my tumbled hair,
Saying: "No friendship dieth
With death of any day,
No true friendship lieth
Cold with lifeless clay.

"Though our boyhood's playtime,
Be gone with summer's breath,
No friendship fades with Maytime
No friendship dies with death."
Then answer had I made
But that the rapture deep
Did hold me, half afraid
To mar that rose of sleep
So with closed eyes I lay,
Lord of the vision fair;
And when 'twas perfect day
Only the day was there.


Submitted by Ted Perry

6. Of all the torments [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Of all the torments, all the cares,
With which our lives are curst;
Of all the plagues a lover bears,
Sure rivals are the worst !
By partners of each other kind
afflictions easier grow;
In love we hate to find
Companions of our woe.

Silvia, for all the pangs you see,
Are laboring in my breast;
I beg not you would favor me
Would you but slight the rest.
How great so e'er your rigors are
With them alone I'll cope:
I can endure my own despair,
But not another's hope !


Submitted by John Fowler

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