The sun descending in the west, The evening star does shine; The birds are silent in their nest. And I must seek for mine. The moon, like a flower In heaven's high bower, With silent delight Sits and smiles on the night. Farewell, green fields and happy grove, Where flocks have took delight: Where lambs have nibbled, silent move The feet of angels bright; Unseen they pour blessing And joy without ceasing On each bud and blossom, And each sleeping bosom. They look in every thoughtless nest Where birds are cover'd warm; They visit caves of every beast, To keep them all from harm: If they see any weeping That should have been sleeping, They pour sleep on their head, And sit down by their bed. When wolves and tigers howl for prey, They pitying stand and weep, Seeking to drive their thirst away And keep them from the sheep. But, if they rush dreadful, The angels, most heedful, Receive each mild spirit, New worlds to inherit. And there the lion's ruddy eyes Shall flow with tears of gold: And pitying the tender cries, And walking round the fold: Saying, "Wrath, by His meekness, And, by His health, sickness, Are driven away From our immortal day. "And now beside thee, bleating lamb, I can lie down and sleep, Or think on Him who bore thy name, Graze after thee, and weep. For, wash'd in life's river, My bright mane for ever Shall shine like the gold As I guard o'er the fold."
Songs of Innocence
Song Cycle by Ben Johnston (b. 1926)
1. Night  [sung text not yet checked]
- by William Blake (1757 - 1827), "Night", appears in Songs of Innocence and Experience, in Songs of Innocence, no. 14, first published 1789 [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
See other settings of this text.Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
2. The divine image  [sung text not yet checked]
To Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love All pray in their distress; And to these virtues of delight Return their thankfulness. For Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love Is God, our Father dear, And Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love Is man, His child and care. For Mercy has a human heart, Pity a human face, And Love, the human form divine, And Peace, the human dress. Then every man, of every clime, That prays in his distress, Prays to the human form divine, Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace. And all must love the human form, In heathen, Turk, or Jew; When Mercy, Love and Pity dwell There God is dwelling too.
- by William Blake (1757 - 1827), "The divine image", appears in Songs of Innocence and Experience, in Songs of Innocence, no. 12, first published 1789 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
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3. A cradle song  [sung text not yet checked]
Sweet dreams, form a shade [O'er]1 my lovely infant's head! Sweet dreams of pleasant streams By happy, silent, moony beams! Sweet Sleep, with soft down Weave thy brows an infant crown. Sweet Sleep, angel mild, Hover o'er my happy child! Sweet smiles, in the night Hover over my delight! Sweet smiles, mother's [smile]2, All the livelong night [beguile]3. Sweet moans, dovelike sighs, Chase not slumber from thine eyes! Sweet moan, sweeter [smile]2, All the dovelike moans [beguile]3. Sleep, sleep, happy child! All creation slept and smiled. Sleep, sleep, happy sleep, While o'er thee [thy]4 mother weep. Sweet babe, in thy face Holy image I can trace; Sweet babe, once like thee Thy Maker lay, and wept for me: Wept for me, for thee, for all, When He was an infant small. Thou His image ever see, Heavenly face that smiles on thee! Smiles on thee, on me, on all, Who became an infant small; Infant smiles are His own smiles; Heaven and earth to peace beguiles.
- by William Blake (1757 - 1827), "A cradle song", appears in Songs of Innocence and Experience, in Songs of Innocence, no. 11, first published 1789 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
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1 Carmichael: "Round"
2 Carmichael: "smiles"
3 Carmichael: "beguiles"
4 Baxter: "doth"
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]