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Five Nocturnes

Word count: 524

Song Cycle by Richard Bamford Lane (1933 - 2004)

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1. Night [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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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."


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. To the Evening Star [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Dem Abendstern", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Thou fair-haired angel of the evening,
Now, whilst the sun rests on the mountains, light
Thy bright torch of love; thy radiant crown
Put on, and smile upon our evening bed!
Smile on our loves, and while thou drawest the
Blue curtains of the sky, scatter thy silver dew
On every flower that shuts its sweet eyes
In timely sleep. Let thy west wing sleep on
The lake; speak silence with thy glimmering eyes,
And wash the dusk with silver. Soon, full soon,
Dost thou withdraw; then the wolf rages wide,
And the lion glares through the dun forest.
The fleeces of our flocks are covered with
Thy sacred dew; protect with them with thine influence.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Cradle song [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English after the English

The text shown is a variant of another text.

It is based on

  • a text in English by William Blake (1757 - 1827), "A cradle song", written c1793, appears in Notebook, possibly intended for Songs of Innocence GER WEL
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Harry Hurlbutt Albino, Athanasios Aronis, Lee Ashton, Ernst Bacon, Granville Ransome Bantock, Sir, Benjamin Britten, Harry Brook, John Callis Brydson, Frederick Handel Candlyn, John Alden Carpenter, John Chorbajian, Rebecca Clarke, Bartley Currie, Brian Blyth Daubney, Duncan W. Dearle, William Edmondstoune Duncan, Thomas Frederick Dunhill, Paul N. Edmonds, Christopher Montague Edmunds, Paul Eisler, Arthur Farwell, Robert James Berkeley Fleming, Eleanor Everest Freer, John Linton Gardner, Percival Garratt, Rosy Auguste Geiger Kullman, Cecil Armstrong Gibbs, Frank Glazer, Richard Hageman, Philip Hagemann, Alfred Matthew Hale, Iain Ellis Hamilton, Fritz Bennicke Hart, Arthur Martinus Hartmann, Basil Harwood, Harold S. Johnson, Dorothy Hill Klotzman, Peter Lamb, Huub de Lange, Sven Lekberg, William H. London, John H. Major, Cameron McGraw, Margaret Starr McLain, Erkki Gustaf Melartin, Robin Humphrey Milford, Oskar Morawetz, Thomas Tertius Noble, George C. Palmer, Alexander Paucker, as Francis Chagrin, John Pointer, Arthur Poyser, Daniel Protheroe, Thomas Rajna, Reginald Redman, Hugh Stevenson Roberton, Sir, Dagmar de Corval Rybner, Charles Villiers Stanford, Sir, Alfred Lionel Stephens, Valma June Streathfield, Phyllis Margaret Duncan Tate, Jack Meredith Tatton, Robert George Thompson, Wesley Allan Ward, Rudolph T. Werther, Felix Harold White, John David White, Maude Valérie White, William Brocklesby Wordsworth. Go to the text.

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Sleep, sleep, beauty bright,
Dreaming in 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 doth rest.
 
O the cunning wiles that creep
In thy little heart asleep!
When thy little heart doth wake, 
Then the dreadful night shall break.


Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Interlude


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[--- Vocalise --]

5. To Morning [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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O holy virgin! clad in purest white,
Unlock heaven's golden gates, and issue forth;
Awake the dawn that sleeps in heaven; let light
[Rise]1 from the chambers of the east, and bring
The honey'd dew that cometh on waking day.
O radiant morning, salute the sun
Roused like a huntsman to the chase, and with
Thy buskin'd feet appear [upon]2 our hills.
[O radiant morning appear on our hills]3


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Mitchell: "Arise"
2 Mitchell: "on"
3 added by Mitchell

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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