The small birds rejoice in the green...
Air -- "Captain O'Kean."
The small birds rejoice [in]1 the green leaves returning,
The murmuring streamlet winds clear thro' the vale;
The primroses blow in the dews of the morning,
And wild scatter'd cowslips bedeck the green dale:
But what can give pleasure, or what can seem fair,
When the lingering moments are [numbered by]2 care?
No birds sweetly singing, nor flow'rs gaily springing,
Can soothe the sad bosom of joyless despair.
The deed that I dared, could it merit their malice?
A king and a father to place on his throne!
His right are these hills, and his right are these valleys,
Where [the]3 wild beasts find shelter, tho' I can find none!
But 'tis not my suff'rings, thus wretched, forlorn,
My brave gallant friends, 'tis your ruin I mourn;
Your faith proved so loyal in hot bloody trial, --
Alas! [I can]4 make it no better return!
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Confirmed with Burns, Robert. Poems and Songs. Vol. VI. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1909–14; Bartleby.com, 2001. www.bartleby.com/6/223.html
1 Haydn: "on"
2 Haydn: "number'd wi' "
3 omitted by Haydn
4 in another version by Burns: "can I" (cf. The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Burns, Cambridge edition, Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1897, page 318; in this publication the poem has an extra line break in the penultimate line of each stanza.)
Submitted by Ferdinando Albeggiani
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title unknown, copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Text added to the website: 2011-03-06.
Last modified: 2014-08-04 11:11:09
Line count: 17
Word count: 148
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