Songs of Time and Tide

Song Cycle by John Fitz Rogers (b. 1963)

Word count: 721

German (Deutsch) translation: Lieder von Zeiten und Gezeiten ( Bertram Kottmann)

1. Light, my light [sung text not yet checked]

Light, my light, the world-filling light,
the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening light!

Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the centre of my life;
the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love;
the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.

The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light.
Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.

The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling,
and it scatters gems in profusion.

Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling,
and gladness without measure. 
The heaven's river has drowned its banks 
and the flood of joy is abroad.

Authorship

Based on

See other settings of this text.

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

2. The sleep that flits on baby's eyes [sung text not yet checked]

The sleep that flits on baby's eyes - 
does anybody know from where it comes? 
Yes, there is a rumour that it has its dwelling 
where, in the fairy village among shadows of the forest 
dimly lit with glow-worms, 
there hang two timid buds of enchantment. 
From there it comes to kiss baby's eyes.

The smile that flickers on baby's lips when he sleeps - 
does anybody know where it was born? 
Yes, there is a rumour 
that a young pale beam of a crescent moon touched 
the edge of a vanishing autumn cloud, 
and there the smile was first born 
in the dream of a dew-washed morning - 
the smile that flickers on baby's lips when he sleeps.

The sweet, soft freshness that blooms on baby's limbs - 
does anybody know where it was hidden so long? 
Yes, when the mother was a young girl it lay pervading her heart 
in tender and silent mystery of love - 
the sweet, soft freshness that has bloomed on baby's limbs.

Authorship

Based on

See other settings of this text.

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. When I bring to you coloured toys [sung text not yet checked]

When I [bring to you colour'd]1 toys, my child,
I understand why there is such a play of colours 
On clouds, on water, and why flow'rs are painted in tints:
When I give colour'd toys to you, my child.

When I sing to make you dance,
[I truly know why there is]2 music in leaves,
And why waves send their chorus of voices
To the heart of the listening earth:
When I sing to make you dance.3

When I bring sweet things to your greedy hands,
I know why there is honey in the cup of the flower
And why fruits are secretly filled with sweet juice:
When I bring sweet things to your greedy hands.

When I kiss your face to make you smile, my darling, 
I surely understand what pleasure streams 
from the sky in morning light, and what delight 
that is that is which the summer breeze 
brings to my body - when I kiss you to make you smile.

Authorship

Based on

See other settings of this text.

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

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

View original text (without footnotes)
Note: in Gitanjali, the poem has no title; but in The Crescent Moon, its title is "When and why"
1 Carpenter: "bring you coloured"
2 Trotta: "I know why there's"
3 Trotta adds "We are free", and in the last repeat, "We are one."

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Is it beyond thee to be glad [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

Based on

See other settings of this text.

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]

5. On the seashore of endless worlds [sung text not yet checked]

On the seashore of endless worlds children meet.
The infinite sky is motionless overhead
and the restless water is boisterous.
On the seashore of endless worlds 
the children meet with shouts and dances.

They build their houses with sand 
and they play with empty shells.
With withered leaves they weave their boats
and smilingly float them on the vast deep.
Children have their play on the seashore of worlds.

They know not how to swim, 
they know not how to cast nets.
Pearl fishers dive for pearls, 
merchants sail in their ships,
while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. 
They seek not for hidden treasures, 
they know not how to cast nets.

The sea surges up with laughter, 
and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach.
Death-dealing waves sing 
meaningless ballads to the children,
even like a mother while rocking her baby's cradle.
The sea plays with children, 
and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach.

On the seashore of endless worlds children meet.
Tempest roams in the pathless sky, 
ships get wrecked in the trackless water,
death is abroad and children play.
On the seashore of endless worlds 
is the great meeting of children.

Authorship

Based on

See other settings of this text.

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