Four Songs

Song Cycle by Seymour Barab (1921 - 2014)

Word count: 591

1. Go lovely rose [sung text not yet checked]

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

  • SPA Spanish (Español) (José Miguel Llata) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
See also Ezra Pound's Envoi.

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

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

2. She's somewhere in the sunlight strong [sung text not yet checked]

She's somewhere in the sunlight strong, 
Her tears are in the falling rain, 
She calls me in the wind's soft song, 
And with the flowers she comes again.

Yon bird is but her messenger,
The moon is but her silver car;
Yea! sun and moon are sent by her,
And every wistful waiting star.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Minstrel's Song [sung text not yet checked]

O! sing unto my roundelay,
   O! drop the briny tear with me;
 Dance no more [at holy-day]1,
   Like a running river be:
         My love is dead,
       Gone to his death-bed,
     All under the willow-tree.

Black his cryne as the winter night,
   White his rode as the summer snow,
 Red his face as the morning light,
   Cold he lies in the grave below:
         My love is dead,
       Gone to his death-bed,
     All under the willow-tree.

Sweet his tongue as the throstle's note,
   Quick in dance as thought can be,
 Deft his tabour, cudgel stout;
   O! he lies by the willow-tree:
         My love is dead,
       Gone to his death-bed,
     All under the willow-tree.

Hark! the raven flaps his wing,
   In the briared dell below;
 Hark! the death-owl loud doth sing
   To the night-mares as they go:
         My love is dead,
       Gone to his death-bed,
     All under the willow-tree.

See! the white moon shines on high;
   Whiter is my true love's shroud,
 Whiter than the morning sky,
   Whiter than the evening cloud:
         My love is dead,
       Gone to his death-bed,
     All under the willow-tree.

Here upon my true love's grave,
   Shall the barren flowers be laid,
 Not one holy saint to save
   All the celness of a maid:
         My love is dead,
       Gone to his death-bed,
     All under the willow-tree.

With my hands I'll dent the briars
   Round his holy corse to gree;
 Ouphant fairy, light your fires--
   Here my body still shall be:
         My love is dead,
       Gone to his death-bed,
     All under the willow-tree.

Come, with acorn-cup and thorn,
   Drain my heartë's-blood away;
 Life and all its goods I scorn,
   Dance by night, or feast by day:
         My love is dead,
       Gone to his death-bed,
     All under the willow-tree.

Water-witches, crowned with reytes,
   Bear me to your lethal tide.
 'I die! I come! my true love waits!'
   Thus the damsel spake, and died.

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View original text (without footnotes)
1: Wesley: "on holiday"
Glossary:
'Cryne:' hair.
'Rode:' complexion.
'Dent:' fix.
'Gree:' grow.
'Ouphant:' elfish.
'Reytes:' water-flags.

Researcher for this text: Virginia Knight

4. I can't be talkin' of love [sung text not yet checked]

I can't be talkin' of love, dear
 [ ... ]

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