Five Housman Songs, op. 14 no. 3

by Lennox Randal Francis Berkeley, Sir (1903 - 1989)

1. The half-moon westers low [sung text checked 1 time]

The half-moon westers low, my love,
And the wind brings up the rain;
And wide apart we lie, my love,
And seas between the twain.

I know not if it rains, my love,
In the land where you do lie;
And oh, so sound you sleep, my love.
You know no more than I.

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

2. The street sounds to the soldiers' tread [sung text not yet checked]

The street sounds to the soldiers' tread,
And out we troop to see:
A single redcoat turns his head,
He turns and looks at me.

My man, from sky to sky's so far,
We never crossed before;
Such leagues apart the world's ends are,
We're like to meet no more.

What thoughts at heart have you and I
We cannot stop to tell;
But dead or living, drunk or dry,
Soldier, I wish you well.

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3. He would not stay for me [sung text checked 1 time]

He would not stay for me; and who can wonder?
He would not stay for me to stand and gaze.
I shook his hand and tore my heart in sunder
And went with half my life about my ways.

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4. Look not in my eyes [sung text checked 1 time]

Look not in my eyes, for fear
  They mirror true the sight I see,
And there you find your face too clear
  And love it and be lost like me.
One the long nights through must lie
  Spent in star-defeated sighs,
But why should you as well as I
  Perish? Gaze not in my eyes.

A Grecian lad, as I hear tell,
  One that many loved in vain,
Looked into a forest well
  And never looked away again.
There, when the turf in springtime flowers,
  With downward eye and gazes sad,
Stands amid the glancing showers
  A jonquil, not a Grecian lad.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Patricia Dillard Eguchi) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HEB Hebrew (עברית) (Max Mader) , "אל תביטי בעיניי", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Because I liked you better [sung text checked 1 time]

Because I liked you better
Than suits a man to say,
It irked you, and I promised
To throw the thought away.

To put the world between us
We parted, stiff and dry;
"Good-bye," said you, "forget me."
"I will, no fear," said I.

If here, where clover whitens
The dead man's knoll, you pass,
And no tall flower to meet you
Starts in the trefoiled grass,

Halt by the headstone naming
The heart no longer stirred,
And say the lad that loved you
Was one that kept his word.

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Total word count: 360