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Eight Songs

Word count: 1122

Song Cycle by John Alden Carpenter (1876 - 1951)

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1. The green river [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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I know a green grass path that leaves the field
  And, like a running river, winds along
  Into a leafy wood, where is no throng
Of birds at noon-day; and no soft throats yield
Their music to the moon.  The place is sealed,
  An unclaimed sovereignty of voiceless song,
  And all th' unravished silences belong
To some sweet singer lost, or unrevealed.

So is my soul become a silent place.
  Oh, may I wake from this uneasy night
  To find some voice of music manifold.
Let it be shape of sorrow with wan face,
  Or love, that swoons on sleep, or else delight
  That is as wide-eyed as a marigold.


Submitted by Geoffrey Wieting

2. Don't ceäre [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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At the feäst, I do mind very well, all the vo'ks
  Wer a-took in a happeren storm,
But we chaps took the maïdens, an' kept 'em wi' clokes
  Under shelter, all dry an' all warm;
An' to my lot vell Jeäne, that's my bride,
  That did titter, a-hung at my zide;
Zaid her aunt, "Why the vo'k 'ull talk finely o' you!"
  An' cried she, "I don't ceäre if they do."

When the time o' the feäst wer ageän a-come round,
  An' the vo'k wer a-gather'd woonce mwore,
Why, she guess'd if she went there, she'd soon be around
  An' a-took seäfely hwome to her door.
Zaid her mother, "Tis sure to be wet."
  Zaid her cousin, "T'ull rain by zunzet."
Zaid her aunt, "Why the clouds there do look black an' blue."
  An' zaid she, "I don't ceäre if they do."

[ ... ]
Now she's married, an' still in the midst ov her tweils She's as happy's the daylight is long, She do goo out abroad wi' her feäce vull o' smiles, An' do work in the house wi' a zong. An', zays woone, "She don't grieve, you can tell." Zays another, "Why don't she look well!" Zays her aunt, "Why the young vo'k do envy you two," An' zays she, "I don't ceäre if they do."
[ ... ]

Submitted by Geoffrey Wieting

3. Looking-Glass River [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Smooth it slides upon its travel,
Here a wimple, there a gleam -
O the clean gravel!
O the smooth stream!

Sailing blossoms, silver fishes,
Paven pools as clear as air -
How a child wishes 
To live down there!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Bid me to live [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE

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Bid me to live, and I will live
  Thy Protestant to be:
Or bid me love, and I will give
  A loving heart to thee.

A heart as soft, a heart as kind,
  A heart as sound and free,
As in the whole world thou canst find,
 That heart I'll give to thee.

[ ... ]
Bid me despair, and I'll despair, Under that cypress-tree: Or bid me die, and I will dare E'en Death, to die for thee.
[ ... ]

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Dis-moi d'aimer [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: French (Français) after the English

Authorship


Based on
  • a text in English by Robert Herrick (1591 - 1674)
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): David Arditti, John Alden Carpenter, John Linton Gardner, John Liptrot Hatton, Mervyn, Lord Horder, the Second Baron of Ashford, Ned Rorem. Go to the text.

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Dis-moi de vivre, et je vivrai
  Pour n'adorer que toi,
Dis-moi d'aimer, et je vous donne
  Un coeur qui n'est qu'amour;

Un coeur si pur, un coeur si sûr.
  Un coeur si plein de toi,
Qu'il n'en est pas un seul au monde,
  Qui t'aime autant que moi.

[ ... ]

Submitted by Geoffrey Wieting

5. Go, lovely rose [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Go, lovely Rose! --
Tell her, that wastes her time and me,
  That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that's young,
  And shuns to have her graces spied
That hadst thou sprung
  In deserts, where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth
  Of beauty from the light retir'd;
Bid her come forth,
  Suffer herself to be [desir'd]1,
And not blush so to be admir'd.

Then die! -- that she
  The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee:
  How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair!

Yet though thou fade,
From thy dead leaves let fragrance rise;
And teach the maid
That goodness time's rude hand defies;
That virtue lives when beauty dies.


View original text (without footnotes)
See also Ezra Pound's Envoi.

1 Attwood: "admir'd" [possibly a mistake]

Submitted by Ted Perry

6. The cock shall crow [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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The cock shall crow in the morning grey,
The bugles blow at the break of day,
  The cock shall sing and the merry bugles ring;
And all the little brown birds sing upon the spray.

The thorn shall blow in the month of May,
My love shall go in her holiday array,
  But I shall like in the Kirkyard nigh,
While all the little brown birds sing upon the spray.


Submitted by Geoffrey Wieting

7. The little fly [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER RUS

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La mouche", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "Мотылёк", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Little Fly,
Thy summer's play
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand 
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath
And the want 
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. A cradle-song [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER WEL

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Sleep, sleep, beauty bright,
Dreaming o'er the joys of night;
Sleep, sleep, in thy sleep
Little sorrows sit and weep.

Sweet babe, in thy face
Soft desires I can trace,
Secret joys and secret smiles,
Little pretty infant wiles.

[ ... ]

Submitted by Geoffrey Wieting

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