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The LiederNet Archive
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10 poems by William H. Davies for voice and piano

Word count: 928

Song Cycle by Otto Freudenthal (b. 1934)

Show the texts alone (bare mode).

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

Language: German (Deutsch)

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I have no ale, 
  No wine I want; 
No ornaments, 
  My meat is scant. 

No maid is near, 
  I have no wife; 
But here's my pipe 
  And, on my life: 

With it to smoke, 
  And woo the Muse, 
To be a king 
  I would not choose. 

But I crave all, 
  When she does fail --
Wife, ornaments. 
  Meat, wine and ale. 


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. The rain [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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I hear leaves drinking rain;
    I hear rich leaves on top 
Giving the poor beneath
    Drop after drop; 
'Tis a sweet noise to hear
These green leaves drinking near.

And when the Sun comes out,
    After this Rain shall stop, 
A wondrous Light will fill
    Each dark, round drop; 
I hope the Sun shines bright;
'Twill be a lovely sight. 


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Sweet music [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: German (Deutsch)

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Ah, Music ! it doth sound more sweet 
  Than rain on crisped leaves ; or when 
Beauty doth stroke a kitten rose, 
  And screams, to feel her fingers then 
Scratched by its little claws. 

Drowned, Music, in thy waves, I saw 
  My whole long Past before me go ; 
Now, rouse me with a merry shout -- 
  Such as charm children, when Winds blow 
The light they love clean out. 


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. The one real gem [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: German (Deutsch)

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Wealth, Power, and Fame -- aye, even Love, 
  Are but an hour's delight, and go ; 
But Sleep's a blessing to hold fast 
  Till her warm dew becomes Death's snow ; 
All men that scorned Sleep in the past, 
  For any thing beneath the Sun, 
  Will rue it ere their life be done. 

Much it perplexed of late to know 
  What made my heart with joy so light ; 
Until I thought of how sweet Sleep 
  Did, for so many hours each night, 
Keep me in her delicious deep : 
  Charmed me each night with her sweet powers, 
  In one unbroken stretch of hours. 

All-powerful Sleep, thou canst give slaves 
  Kings for attendants ; and their straw 
Becomes in thy soft hands like down ; 
  Thou one real gem, without a flaw, 
That purely shineth in Life's crown ; 
  For Wealth, and Power, and Fame are paste, 
  That into common ashes waste. 


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. The visitor [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: German (Deutsch)

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Her beauty is a wasted thing,
She's neither sweet nor kind;
And flowers that have no other eyes
Than raindrops soon go blind.
 
She is a park that has no deer
To give it life or grace;
Until I think the wilderness
A more enchanted place.
 
Her Ten Commandments are her own,
She knows no other Creed;
The only babies in her eyes
Are selfish thoughts and greed.
 
Her beauty is a wasted thing,
Is Nature's loss and pain;
When will the little, plain, brown bird
Come back and sing again!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. The milkmaid's call [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: German (Deutsch)

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As I walked down a lane this morn,
  I heard a sweet voice cry, Come, Come !
And then I saw ten dull, fat cows
  Begin to race like horses home ;
Like horses in their pace,
  Though lacking horses' grace.

That voice, which did uplift those feet
  Of cows, uplifted mine likewise ;
For, with a heart so light, I walked
  Until the sweat did blind my eyes ;
And all the way back home,
  I heard her cry, Come, Come !


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. Jenny [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: German (Deutsch)

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Now I grow old, and flowers are weeds,
I think of days when weeds were flowers;
When Jenny lived across the way,
And shared with me her childhood hours.
Her little teeth did seem so sharp,
So bright and bold, when they were shown,
You'd think if passion stirred her she
Could bite and hurt a man of stone.
Her curls, like golden snakes, would lie
Upon each shoulder's front, as though
To guard her face on either side -
They raised themselves when Winds did blow.
How sly they were! I could not see,
Nor she feel them begin to climb
Across her lips, till there they were,
To be forced back time after time.
If I could see an Elm in May
Turn all his dark leaves into pearls,
And shake them in the light of noon -
That sight had not shamed Jenny's curls.
And, like the hay, I swear her hair
Was getting golder every day;
Yes, golder when 'twas harvested,
Under a bonnet stacked away.
Ah, Jenny's gone, I know not where;
Her face I cannot hope to see;
And every time I think of her
The world seems one big grave to me.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. A great time [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Sweet Chance, that led my steps abroad,
Beyond the town, where wild flow'rs grow --
A rainbow and a cuckoo, Lord,
How rich and great the times are now!
Know all ye sheep
And cows, that keep
On staring that I stand so long
In grass that's wet from heavy rain --
A rainbow, and a cuckoo's song
May never come together again,
May never come [from]1
This side the tomb.
A rainbow, and a cuckoo's song
May never come together again...


View original text (without footnotes)
1 added by Head.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

9. A mother to her sick child [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: German (Deutsch)

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Thou canst not understand my words
No love for me was meant:
The smile that lately crossed thy face
Was but a accident.
 
The music's thine, but mine the tears
That make thy lullaby;
To-day I'll rock thee into sleep,
To-morrow thou must die.
 
And when our babies sleep their last,
Like aged dames or men,
They need nor mothers lullaby,
Nor any rocking then.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

10. Come, thou sweet Wonder [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: German (Deutsch)

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Come, thou sweet Wonder, by whose power
We more or less enjoy our years;
That mak'st a child forget the breast,
And dri'st at once the children's tears,
Till sleep shall bring their minds more rest.
 
Come to my heavy rain of care,
And make it weigh like dew; charm me
With Beauty's hair, her eyes or lips;
With mountain dawn, or sunset sea
That's like a thousand burning ships.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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