Five Songs

Song Cycle by Alfred Matthew Hale (1875 - 1960)

Word count: 584

1. A cradle song [sung text not yet checked]

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.

As thy softest limbs I feel, 
Smiles as of the morning steal 
O'er thy cheek, and o'er thy breast 
Where thy little heart does rest.

O! the cunning wiles that creep 
In thy little heart asleep. 
When thy little heart does wake 
Then the dreadful lightnings break, 

From thy cheek and from thy eye, 
O'er the youthful harvests nigh. 
Infant wiles and infant smiles 
Heaven and Earth of peace beguiles.

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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

Researcher for this text: Geoffrey Wieting

2. Morning  [sung text not yet checked]

To find the Western path,
Right thro' the Gates of Wrath
I urge my way;
Sweet Mercy leads me on
With soft repentant moan:
I see the break of day.

The war of swords and spears,
Melted by dewy tears,
Exhales on high;
The Sun is freed from fears,
And with soft grateful tears
Ascends the sky.

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

  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Smirnov) , copyright © 1981, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Piping down the valleys wild  [sung text not yet checked]

Piping down the valleys wild,
  Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
  And he laughing said to me:

"Pipe a song about a lamb."
  So I piped with merry chear.
"Piper, pipe that song again."
  So I piped: he wept to hear.

"Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;
  Sing thy songs of happy chear."
So I sang the same again,
  While he wept with joy to hear.

"Piper, sit thee down and write
  In a book, that all may read."
So he vanished from my sight;
  And I pluck'd a hollow reed.

And I made a rural pen,
  And I stain'd the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
  Every child may joy to hear.

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

  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "Вступление", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

4. How sweet I roam'd from field to field [sung text not yet checked]

 How sweet I roam'd from field to field, 
   And tasted all the summer's pride,
 'Till I the prince of love beheld,
   Who in the sunny beams did glide!

 He shew'd me lilies for my hair,
   And blushing roses for my brow;
 He led me through his gardens fair,
   Where all his golden pleasures grow.

 With sweet May dews my wings were wet,
   And Phoebus fir'd my vocal rage;
 He caught me in his silken net,
   And shut me in his golden cage.

 He loves to sit and hear me sing,
   Then, laughing, sports and plays with me;
 Then stretches out my golden wing,
   And mocks my loss of liberty.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. The school boy [sung text not yet checked]

I love to rise in a summer morn
When the birds sing on every tree;
The distant huntsman winds his horn,
And the skylark sings with me.
O! what sweet company.

But to go to school in a summer morn,
O! it drives all joy away;
Under a cruel eye outworn,
The little ones spend the day
In sighing and dismay.

Ah! then at times I drooping sit,
And spend many an anxious hour,
Nor in my book can I take delight,
Nor sit in learning's bower,
Worn thro' with the dreary shower.

How can the bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?
How can a child, when fears annoy,
But droop his tender wing,
And forget his youthful spring?

O! father and mother, if buds are nipp'd
And blossoms blown away,
And if the tender plants are stripp'd
Of their joy in the springing day,
By sorrow and care's dismay,

How shall the summer arise in joy,
Or the summer fruits appear?
Or how shall we gather what griefs destroy,
Or bless the mellowing year,
When the blasts of winter appear?

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]