Gitanjali

Song Cycle by Raymond Murray Schafer (b. 1933)

Word count: 484

1. Light, my light, the world-filling 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.

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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

2. Thou hast made me endless [sung text not yet checked]

Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. 
This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, 
and fillest it ever with fresh life.

This little flute of a reed 
thou hast carried over hills and dales, 
and hast breathed through it 
melodies eternally new.

At the immortal touch of thy hands 
my little heart loses its limits 
in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.

Thy infinite gifts come to me 
only on these very small hands of mine. 
Ages pass, and still thou pourest, 
and still there is room to fill.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Tu m'as fait sans fin, tel est ton plaisir", copyright © 2013, (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]

3. When thou commandest me to sing [sung text not yet checked]

When thou commandest me to sing 
it seems that my heart would break with pride; 
and I look to thy face, and tears come to my eyes.

All that is harsh and dissonant in my life 
melts into one sweet harmony - 
and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird 
on its flight across the sea.

I know thou takest pleasure in my singing. 
I know that only as a singer 
I come before thy presence.

I touch by the edge of the far-spreading wing 
of my song thy feet 
which I could never aspire to reach.

Drunk with the joy of singing I forget myself 
and call thee friend who art my lord.

Authorship

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist)
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Quand tu m'ordonnes de chanter", copyright © 2013, (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]

4. Interlude [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

5. You came down and stood at my cottage door [sung text not yet checked]

You came down from your throne 
and stood at my cottage door.

I was singing all alone in a corner, 
and the melody caught your ear. 
You came down and stood at my cottage door.

Masters are many in your hall, 
and songs are sung there at all hours. 
But the simple carol of this novice 
struck at your love. 
One plaintive little strain 
mingled with the great music of the world, 
and with a flower for a prize you came down 
and stopped at my cottage door.

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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]

6. I am here to sing thee songs [sung text not yet checked]

I am here to sing thee songs.
In this hall of thine I have a corner seat.

In thy world I have no work to do;
My useless life can only break out 
in tunes without a purpose.

When the hour strikes for thy silent worship
at the dark temple of midnight,
command me, my master, to stand before thee to sing.

When in the morning air,
the golden harp is tuned,
honour me, commanding my presence.

Authorship

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Je suis ici pour chanter des chants", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]