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Songs Sacred and Profane

Word count: 554

Song Cycle by John (Nicholson) Ireland (1879 - 1962)

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1. The advent [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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    Rorate Coeli desuper, et nubes pluant Justum.
    Aperiatur Terra, et germinet Salvatorem.

No sudden thing of glory and fear
Was the Lord's coming; but the dear
Slow Nature's days followed each other
To form the Saviour from his Mother
one of the children of the year.

The earth, the rain, received the trust,
The sun and dews, to frame the Just.
He drew his daily life from these.
According to his own decrees
Who makes man from the fertile dust.

Sweet summer and the winter wild,
These brought hirn forth, the Undefiled.
The happy Springs renewed again
His daily bread, the growing grain,
The food and raiment of the Child.


Submitted by Ted Perry

2. Hymn for a child [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Flocking to the Temple
 [ ... ]


This text may be protected by copyright under Canadian copyright law, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.

3. My Fair [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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My Fair, no beauty of thine will last
	Save in my love's eternity.
	Thy smiles, that light thee fitfully,
Are lost for ever - their moment past -
	Except the few thou givest to me.

Thy sweet words vanish day by day,
	As all breath of mortality.
	Thy laughter, done, must cease to be,
And all the dear tones pass away,
	Except the few that sing to me.

Hide then within my heart, oh, hide
	All thou are loth should go from thee.
	Be kinder to thyself and me.
My cupful from this river's tide
	Shall never reach the long sad sea.


Submitted by Ted Perry

4. The Salley Gardens [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE FRI GER

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRI Frisian (Geart van der Meer) , "Bij de marswâl", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Down by the Salley Gardens my love and I did meet;
She passed the Salley Gardens with little snow-white feet.
She bid me take [love]1 easy, as the leaves grow on the [tree]2;
But I, being young and foolish, with her [did]3 not agree.

In a field by the river my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white hand.
She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs;
But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears.


View original text (without footnotes)

Retitled "Down by the Salley Gardens" with the subtitle "An old song re-sung" when republished in Poems in 1895.

Note: "salley" is an anglicized form of the Irish word "saileach", which means willow.

1 Gurney: "life"
2 Edmunds: "trees"
3 Edmunds, Gurney: "would"

Submitted by Ted Perry

5. The soldier's return [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Jump through the hedge, lass!
 [ ... ]


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6. The scapegoat [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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See the scapegoat, happy beast
 [ ... ]


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