Five English Love Lyrics

Song Cycle by Roger Quilter (1877 - 1953)

Word count: 560

1. There be none of Beauty's daughters [sung text not yet checked]

There be none of Beauty's daughters
  With a magic like thee;
And like music on the waters
  Is thy sweet voice to me:
When, as if its sound were causing
The [charmèd]1 ocean's pausing,
The waves lie still and gleaming,
And the lull'd winds seem dreaming:

And the midnight moon is weaving
  Her bright chain o'er the deep;
Whose breast is gently heaving
  As an infant's asleep:
So the spirit bows before thee,
To listen and adore thee;
With a full but soft emotion,
Like the swell of Summer's ocean.

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Sloky pro hudbu"
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Alexis Paulin Pâris) , "Stances à mettre en musique"
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Fra tutte le più belle", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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1 Mendelssohn: "charm'd"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Morning Song [sung text checked 1 time]

Pack, clouds, away! and welcome, day!
  With night we banish sorrow.
Sweet air, blow soft; mount, larks, aloft
  To give my Love good-morrow!
Wings from the wind to please her mind,
  Notes from the lark I'll borrow:
Bird, prune thy wing! nightingale, sing!
  To give my Love good-morrow!
      To give my Love good-morrow
      Notes from them both I'll borrow.

Wake from thy nest, robin-red-breast!
  Sing, birds, in every furrow!
And from each [bill]1, let music shrill
  Give my fair Love good-morrow!
Blackbird and thrush in every bush,
  Stare, linnet, and cocksparrow!
You pretty elves, [among]2 yourselves
  Sing my fair Love good-morrow;
      To give my Love good-morrow
      Sing, birds, in every furrow!

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Confirmed with The Oxford Book of English Verse, edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch, OUP, 1919, Item 205.

Glossary
Stare = starling

1 Chadwick: "hill" (typo?)
2 Chadwick: "amongst"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Iain Sneddon [Guest Editor]

3. Go, lovely rose [sung text checked 1 time]

Go, lovely Rose! --
Tell her, that wastes her time and me,
  That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that's young,
  And shuns to have her graces spied
That hadst thou sprung
  In deserts, where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth
  Of beauty from the light retir'd;
Bid her come forth,
  Suffer herself to be [desir'd]1,
And not blush so to be admir'd.

Then die! -- that she
  The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee:
  How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair!

Yet though thou fade,
From thy dead leaves let fragrance rise;
And teach the maid
That goodness time's rude hand defies;
That virtue lives when beauty dies.

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See also Ezra Pound's Envoi.

1 Attwood: "admir'd" [possibly a mistake]

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

4. O, the month of May [sung text not yet checked]

  O, the month of May, the merry month of May,
  So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green!
  O, and then did I unto my true love say,
  "Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my summer's Queen."

Now the nightingale, the pretty nightingale,
The sweetest singer in all the [forest quire]1,
Entreats thee, sweet Peggy, to hear thy true love's tale:
Lo, yonder she sitteth, her breast against a briar.

But O, I spy the cuckoo, the cuckoo, the cuckoo;
See where she sitteth: come away, my joy:
Come away, I prithee, I do not like the cuckoo;
Should sing when my Peggy and I kiss and toy.

  O, the month of May, the merry month of May,
  So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green;
  And then did I unto my true love say,
  "Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my summer's Queen."

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1 Moeran: "forest's choir"

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

5. The time of roses [sung text not yet checked]

It was not in the Winter
Our loving lot was cast;
It was the time of roses -
We plucked them as we passed!

That churlish season never frowned
On early lovers yet:
O no - the world was newly crowned
With flowers when we met!

'Twas twilight, and I bade you go,
But still you held me fast;
It was the time of roses -
We plucked them as we passed!

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]