When the Creation Was New

Song Cycle by Albert Biales (b. 1929)

Word count: 630

1. This is my delight [sung text not yet checked]

This is my delight, thus to wait 
and watch at the wayside
where shadow chases light 
and the rain comes 
in the wake of the summer.

Messengers, with tidings from unknown skies, 
greet me and speed along the road. 
My heart is glad within, 
and the breath of the passing breeze is sweet.

From dawn till dusk 
I sit here before my door, 
and I know that of a sudden 
the happy moment will arrive when I shall see.

In the meanwhile I smile 
and I sing all alone. 
In the meanwhile the air is filling 
with the perfume of promise.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Deity of the ruined temple [sung text not yet checked]

Deity of the ruined temple!
The broken strings of Vina 
sing no more your praise. 
The bells in the evening proclaim 
not your time of worship. 
The air is still and silent about you.

In your desolate dwelling 
comes the vagrant spring breeze. 
It brings the tidings of flowers -- 
the flowers that for your worship are offered no more.

Your worshipper of old wanders 
ever longing for favour 
still refused.
In the eventide, when fires and shadows mingle 
with the gloom of dust,
he wearily comes back to the ruined temple 
with hunger in his heart.

Many a festival day comes to you in silence, 
deity of the ruined temple.
Many a night of worship goes away 
with lamp unlit.

Many new images are built by masters of cunning art
and carried to the holy stream of oblivion 
when their time is come.

Only the deity of the ruined temple 
remains unworshipped in deathless neglect.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. I am like a remnant of a cloud of Autumn [sung text not yet checked]

I am like a remnant of a cloud of autumn
uselessly roaming in the sky,
O my sun ever-glorious!
Thy touch has not yet melted my vapour,
making me one with thy light,
and thus I count months and years separated from thee.

If this be thy wish and if this be thy play,
then take this fleeting emptiness of mine,
paint it with colours, gild it with gold,
float it on the wanton wind 
and spread it in varied wonders.

And again, when it shall be thy wish to end this play at night,
I shall melt and vanish away in the dark,
or it may be in a smile of the white morning, 
in a coolness of purity transparent.

Authorship

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Geoffrey Wieting

4. Light, oh where is the light [sung text not yet checked]

Light, oh where is the light? 
Kindle it with the burning fire of desire!
There is the lamp but never a flicker of a flame - 
is such thy fate, my heart? 
Ah, death were better by far for thee!

Misery knocks at thy door, and her message is 
that thy lord is wakeful, 
and he calls thee to the love-tryst 
through the darkness of night.

The sky is overcast with clouds 
and the rain is ceaseless. 
I know not what this is that stirs in me - 
I know not its meaning.

A moment's flash of lightning drags down 
a deeper gloom on my sight, 
and my heart gropes for the path 
to where the music of the night calls me.

Light, oh where is the light! 
Kindle it with the burning fire of desire! 
It thunders and the wind rushes screaming through the void. 
The night is black as a black stone. 
Let not the hours pass by in the dark. 
Kindle the lamp of love with thy life.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. To be glad with the gladness of this rhythm [sung text not yet checked]

Is it beyond thee to be glad with the gladness of this rhythm? 
To be tossed and lost and broken in the whirl of this fearful joy?

All things rush on, they stop not, they look not behind, 
no power can hold them back, they rush on.

Keeping steps with that restless, rapid music, 
seasons come dancing and pass away - 
colours, tunes, and perfumes pour in endless cascades 
in the abounding joy 
that scatters and gives up and dies every moment.

Authorship

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]