Peacock Pie -- 20 songs for Tenor and Piano

Song Cycle by Juliana Hall (b. 1958)

Word count: 1442

1. The horseman [sung text not yet checked]

I heard a horseman
  Ride over the hill;
The moon shone clear,
  The night was still;
His helm was silver,
  And pale was he;
And the horse he rode
  Was of ivory.

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Confirmed with Peacock Pie. A Book of Rhymes by Walter de la Mare, London: Constable & Co. Ltd., [1920], p. 2.


Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

2. The bandog [sung text not yet checked]

Has anybody seen my Mopser? --
  A comely dog is he,
With hair of the colour of a Charles the Fifth,
  And teeth like ships at sea,
His tail it curls straight upwards,
  His ears stand two abreast,
And he answers to the simple name of Mopser
  When civilly addressed.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. The sea boy [sung text not yet checked]

Peter went — and nobody there —
Down by the sandy sea,
And he danced a jig, while the moon shone big,
All in his lone danced he;
And the surf splashed over his tippeting toes,
And he sang his riddle-cum-ree,
With hair a-dangling,
Moon a-spangling
The bubbles and froth of the sea.
He danced him to, and he danced him fro,
And he twirled himself about,
And now the starry waves tossed in,
And now the waves washed out;
Bare as an acorn, bare as a nut,
Nose and toes and knee,
Peter the sea-boy danced and pranced,
And sang his riddle-cum-ree.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Jim Jay [sung text not yet checked]

Do diddle di do,
  Poor Jim Jay
Got stuck fast
  In Yesterday.
Squinting he was,
  On Cross-legs bent,
Never heeding
  The wind was spent.
Round veered the weathercock,
  The sun drew in -
And stuck was Jim
  Like a rusty pin...
We pulled and we pulled
  From seven till twelve,
Jim, too frightened
  To help himself.
But all in vain.
  The clock struck one,
And there was Jim
  A little bit gone.
At half-past five
  You scarce could see
A glimpse of his flapping
  Handkerchee.
And when came noon,
  And we climbed sky-high,
Jim was a speck
  Slip - slipping by.
Come to-morrow,
  The neighbours say,
He'll be past crying for;
  Poor Jim Jay.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Cake and Sack [sung text not yet checked]

Old King Caraway
   Supped on cake,
And a cup of sack
   His thirst to slake;
Bird in arras
   And hound in hall
Watched very softly
   Or not at all;
Fire in the middle,
   Stone all round
Changed not, heeded not,
   Made no sound;
All by himself
   At the Table High
He'd nibble and sip
   While his dreams slipped by;
And when he had finished,
   He'd nod and say,
'Cake and sack
   For King Caraway!'

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. The huntsmen [sung text not yet checked]

Three jolly gentlemen,
  In coats of red,
Rode their horses
  Up to bed.
Three jolly gentlemen
  Snored till morn,
Their horses champing
  The golden corn.
Three jolly gentlemen
  At break of day,
Came clitter-clatter down the stairs
  And galloped away.

Authorship

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Confirmed with Peacock Pie. A Book of Rhymes by Walter de la Mare, London: Constable & Co. Ltd., [1920], page 39.


Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

7. Tired Tim  [sung text not yet checked]

Poor Tired Tim! It's sad for him.
He lags the long bright morning through,
Ever so tired of nothing to do;
He moons and mopes the livelong day,
Nothing to think about, nothing to say;
Up to bed with his candle to creep,
Too tired to yawn, too tired to sleep:
Poor Tired Tim! It's sad for him.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. The dunce  [sung text not yet checked]

Why does he still keep ticking?
  Why does his round white face
Stare at me over the books and ink,
  And mock at my disgrace?
Why does that thrush call, 'Dunce, dunce, dunce!'?
  Why does that bluebottle buzz?
Why does the sun so silent shine? --
  And what do I care if it does?

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

9. Poor Henry [sung text not yet checked]

Thick in its glass
  The physic stands,
Poor Henry lifts
  Distracted hands;
His round cheek wans
  In the candlelight,
To smell that smell!
  To see that sight!

Finger and thumb
  Clinch his small nose,
A gurgle, a gasp,
  And down it goes;
Scowls Henry now;
  But mark that cheek,
Sleek with the bloom
  Of health next week!

Authorship

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Confirmed with Peacock Pie. A Book of Rhymes by Walter de la Mare, London: Constable & Co. Ltd., [1920], page 50.


Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

10. The quartette  [sung text not yet checked]

Tom sang for joy and Ned sang for joy and old Sam sang for joy;
All we four boys piped up loud, just like one boy;
And the ladies that sate with the Squire - their cheeks were all wet,
For the noise of the voice of us boys, when we sang our Quartette.

Tom he piped low and Ned he piped low and old Sam he piped low;
Into a sorrowful fall did our music flow;
And the ladies that sate with the Squire vowed they'd never forget
How the eyes of them cried for delight, when we sang our Quartette.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

11. Full moon [sung text not yet checked]

One night as Dick lay half asleep,
  Into his drowsy eyes
A great still light begins to creep
  From out the silent skies.
It was lovely moon's, for when
  He raised his dreamy head,
Her surge of silver filled the pane
  And streamed across his bed.
So, for a while, each gazed at each -
  Dick and the solemn moon -
Till, climbing slowly on her way,
  She vanished, and was gone.

Authorship

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Confirmed with Peacock Pie. A Book of Rhymes by Walter de la Mare, London: Constable & Co. Ltd., [1920], page 56.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

12. Summer evening [sung text not yet checked]

The sandy cat by the Farmer's chair
Mews at his knee for dainty fare;
Old Rover in his moss-greened house
Mumbles a bone, and barks at a mouse
In the dewy fields the cattle lie
Chewing the cud 'neath a fading sky
Dobbin at manger pulls his hay:
Gone is another summer's day.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

13. Five eyes [sung text not yet checked]

In Hans' old Mill his three black cats
Watch the bins for the thieving rats.
Whisker and claw, they crouch in the night,
Their five eyes smouldering green and bright:
Squeaks from the flour sacks, squeaks from where
The cold wind stirs on the empty stair,
Squeaking and scampering, everywhere.
Then down they pounce, now in, now out,
At whisking tail, and sniffing snout;
While lean old Hans he snores away
Till peep of light at break of day;
Then up he climbs to his creaking mill,
Out come his cats all grey with meal -
Jeckel, and Jessup, and one-eyed Jill.

Authorship

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Confirmed with Peacock Pie. A Book of Rhymes by Walter de la Mare, London: Constable & Co. Ltd., [1920].


Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

14. The ruin [sung text not yet checked]

When the last colours of the day
Have from their burning ebbed away,
About that ruin, cold and lone,
The cricket shrills from stone to stone;
And scattering o'er its darkened green,
Bands of fairies may be seen,
Clattering like grasshoppers, their feet
Dancing a thistledown dance round it:
While the great gold of the mild moon
Tinges their tiny acorn shoon. 

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

15. All but blind [sung text not yet checked]

All but blind
   In his chambered hole
Gropes for worms
   The four-clawed Mole.

All but blind
   In the evening sky
The hooded Bat
   Twirls softly by.

All but blind
   In the burning day
The Barn-Owl blunders
   On her way.

And blind as are
   These three to me,
So, blind to Some-one
   I must be.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

16. Will ever? [sung text not yet checked]

Will he ever be weary of wandering,
  The flaming sun?
Ever weary of waning in lovelight,
  The white still moon?
Will ever a shepherd come
  With a crook of simple gold,
And lead all the little stars 
  Like lambs to the fold?

Will ever the Wanderer sail
  From over the sea,
Up the river of water,
  To the stones to me?
Will he take us all into his ship,
  Dreaming, and waft us far,
To where in the clouds of the West
  The Islands are?

Authorship

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Confirmed with Peacock Pie. A Book of Rhymes by Walter de la Mare, London: Constable & Co. Ltd., [1920].


Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

17. The penny owing [sung text not yet checked]

Poor blind Tam, the beggar man,
I'll give a penny to as soon as I can.
Where he stood at the corner in his rags, and cried,
The sun without shadow does now abide.

Safe be my penny till I come some day
To where Tam's waiting. And then I'll say,
"Here is my ghost, Tam, from the fire and dew,
And the penny I grudged kept safe for you."

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

18. The horseman [sung text checked 1 time]

There was a Horseman rode so fast
The Sun in heaven stayed still at last.

On, on, and on, his galloping shoon
Gleamed never never beneath the Moon.

The People said, ‘Thou must be mad, O
Man with a never-lengthening shadow!

‘Mad and bad!  Ho!  stay thy course,
Thou and thy never-stabled horse!

‘Oh, what a wild and wicked sight —
A Horseman never dark with night!

‘Depart from us, depart from us,
Thou and thy lank-maned Pegasus!’ . . .

They talked into declining day,
Since both were now leagues — leagues away.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: David Sims [Guest Editor]

19. The song of the mad prince  [sung text not yet checked]

Who said 'Peacock Pie'?
  The old King to the sparrow:
Who said 'Crops are ripe'?
  Rust to the harrow:
Who said, 'Where sleeps she now?
  Where rests she now her head,
Bathed in eve's loveliness' ?--
  That's what I said.

Who said, 'Ay, mum's the word'?
  Sexton to willow:
Who said, 'Green dusk for dreams,
  Moss for a pillow'?
Who said, 'All Time's delight
  Hath she for narrow bed;
Life's troubled bubble broken'? -
  That's what I said.

Authorship

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Confirmed with Peacock Pie. A Book of Rhymes by Walter de la Mare, London: Constable & Co. Ltd., [1920], p. 175.


Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

20. The Song of 'Finis' [sung text not yet checked]

At the edge of All the Ages
   A Knight sate on his steed,
His armour red and thin with rust,
   His soul from sorrow freed;
And he lifted up his visor
   From a face of skin and bone,
And his horse turned head and whinnied
   As the twain stood there alone.

No bird above that steep of time
   Sang of a livelong quest;
No wind breathed,
               Rest:
‘Lone for an end!’ cried Knight to steed,
   Loosed an eager rein--
Charged with his challenge into Space:
   And quiet did quiet remain.

Authorship

Confirmed with Peacock Pie. A Book of Rhymes by Walter de la Mare, London: Constable & Co. Ltd., [1920], page 178.


Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]