Twelve Songs Set to Poems of Shelley and Rossetti

[incomplete]

Song Cycle by George John Bennett (1863 - 1930)

Word count: 1169

1. I fear thy kisses [sung text not yet checked]

I fear thy kisses, gentle maiden;
  Thou needest not fear mine;
My spirit is too deeply laden
  Ever to burden thine.
                           
I fear thy mien, thy tones, thy motion;
  Thou needest not fear mine;
Innocent is the heart's devotion
  With which I worship thine.

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Sloky (Shelley 2)", Prague, J. Otto, first published 1901

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

1. Ich fürchte deinen Kuss, lieb' Mädchen [sung text not yet checked]

Ich fürchte deinen Kuss, lieb' Mädchen
 . . . . . . . . . .

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2. To Jane [sung text not yet checked]

 The keen stars were twinkling
 And the fair moon was rising among them,
           Dear Jane:
      The [guitar]1 was tinkling,
 But the notes were not [sweet]2 till you [sung]3 them
           Again.
      As the moon's soft splendor
 O'er the faint cold starlight of heaven
           Is thrown,
      So your voice most tender
 To the strings without soul had then given
           Its own.

      The stars will awaken,
 Though the moon sleep a full hour later,
           Tonight;
      No leaf will be shaken
 Whilst the dews of your melody scatter
           Delight.
      Though the sound overpowers,
 Sing again, with your dear voice revealing
           A tone
      Of some world far from ours
 Where music and moonlight and feeling
           Are one.

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Note: The Trelawny manuscript is headed "To Jane"
1 Faith: "harp"
2 Faith: "clear"
3 Faith: "sang"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. An Johanna [sung text not yet checked]

Die Sterne erwachten
 . . . . . . . . . .

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3. Love's philosophy [sung text not yet checked]

The [fountains mingle]1 with the River 
  And the Rivers with the Ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
  With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
  All things by a law divine
In one [another's being]2 mingle.
  Why not I with thine? -

See the mountains kiss high Heaven
  And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
  If it disdained its brother;
And the [sunlight clasps]3 the earth
  And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What [are all these kissings]4 worth
  If thou kiss not me?

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

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1 Gounod: "fountain mingles"
2 Delius: "spirit meet and"
3 Gounod: "sunbeams clasp"
4 Delius: "is all this sweet work"; Gounod: "are all these kisses"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Liebesphilosophie [sung text not yet checked]

Die Quellen mengen sich dem Strome
 . . . . . . . . . .

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4. Music, when soft voices die [sung text not yet checked]

Music, when soft voices die,	
Vibrates in the memory;
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heaped for the belovèd's bed;
And so [thy]1 thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Sloky", Prague, J. Otto, first published 1901
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Martin Stock) , "Musik, wenn leise Stimmen ersterben ...", copyright © 2002, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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1 Bridge: "my"

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

4. Ist verrauscht Musik und Wort [sung text not yet checked]

Ist verrauscht Musik und Wort
 . . . . . . . . . .

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5. Mutability [sung text not yet checked]

The flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow dies;
All that we wish to stay
Tempts and then flies.
What is this world's delight?
Lightning that mocks the night,
Brief even as bright.

Virtue, how frail it is!
Friendship how rare!
Love, how it sells poor bliss
For proud despair!
[But we, though soon they fall,
Survive their joy, and all
Which ours we call.]1

Whilst skies are blue and bright, 
Whilst flowers are gay,
Whilst eyes that change ere night
Make glad the day;
Whilst yet the calm hours creep,
Dream thou -- and from thy sleep
Then wake to weep.

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Změna", Prague, J. Otto, first published 1901

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1 omitted by D. E. Thomas

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Wandelbar [sung text not yet checked]

Was heute blüht
 . . . . . . . . . .

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6. On a dead violet [sung text not yet checked]

The odour from the flower is gone
Which like thy kisses breathed on me;
The colour from the flower is flown
Which glowed of thee and only thee!

A shrivelled, lifeless, vacant form.
It lies on my abandoned breast,
And mocks [the]2 heart which yet is warm,
With cold and silent rest.

I weep, -- my tears revive it not!
I sigh, -- it breathes no more on me;
Its mute and uncomplaining lot
Is such as mine should be.

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2 Bridge: "my"

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

6. Einem todten Veilchen [sung text not yet checked]

Nun ist der süsse Duft entfloh'n
 . . . . . . . . . .

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7. When passion's trance [sung text not yet checked]

When passion's trance is overpast,
If tenderness and truth could last,
Or live, whilst all wild feelings keep
Some mortal slumber, dark and deep,
I should not weep, I should not weep! 

It were enough to feel, to see,
Thy soft eyes gazing tenderly,
And dream the rest--and burn and be
The secret food of fires unseen,
Couldst thou but be as thou hast been,  

After the slumber of the year
The woodland violets reappear;
All things revive in field or grove,
And sky and sea, but two, which move
And form all others, life and love. 

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Sloky", Prague, J. Otto, first published 1901

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. Wenn Leidenschaft vertobet [sung text not yet checked]

Wenn Leidenschaft vertobet
 . . . . . . . . . .

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8. Rarely, rarely, comest thou [sung text not yet checked]

Rarely, rarely, comest thou,
Spirit of Delight!
Wherefore hast thou left me now
Many a day and night?
Many a weary night and day  
'Tis since thou art fled away.

How shall ever one like me
Win thee back again?
With the joyous and the free
Thou wilt scoff at pain.   
Spirit false! thou hast forgot
All but those who need thee not.

As a lizard with the shade
Of a trembling leaf,
Thou with sorrow art dismayed; 
Even the sighs of grief
Reproach thee, that thou art not near,
And reproach thou wilt not hear.

Let me set my mournful ditty
To a merry measure; 
Thou wilt never come for pity,
Thou wilt come for pleasure;
Pity then will cut away
Those cruel wings, and thou wilt stay.

I love all that thou lovest,  
Spirit of Delight!
The fresh Earth in new leaves dressed,
And the starry night;
Autumn evening, and the morn
When the golden mists are born. 

I love snow, and all the forms
Of the radiant frost;
I love waves, and winds, and storms,
Everything almost
Which is Nature's, and may be
Untainted by man's misery.

I love tranquil solitude,
And such society
As is quiet, wise, and good
Between thee and me 
What difference? but thou dost possess
The things I seek, not love them less.

I love Love--though he has wings,
And like light can flee,
But above all other things,
Spirit, I love thee --
Thou art love and life! Oh, come,
Make once more my heart thy home.

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , title 1: "Utečenci", title 2: "Zpěv", Prague, J. Otto, first published 1901

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. Selten, selten kommst du nah [sung text not yet checked]

Selten, selten kommst du nah
 . . . . . . . . . .

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9. Adieu [sung text not yet checked]

Waving whispering trees,
What do you say to the breeze
And what says the breeze to you?
'Mid passing souls ill at ease,
Moving murmuring trees,
Would ye ever wave an Adieu?

Tossing turbulent seas,
Winds that wrestle with these,
Echo heard in the shell, --
'Mid fleeting life ill at ease,
Restless ravening seas, --
Would the echo sigh Farewell?

Surging sumptuous skies,
For ever a new surprise,
Clouds eternally new, --
Is every flake that flies,
Widening wandering skies,
For a sign-Farewell, Adieu?

Sinking suffering heart
That know'st how weary thou art, --
Soul so fain for a flight, --
Aye, spread your wings to depart,
Sad soul and sorrowing heart, --
Adieu, Farewell, Good-night.

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Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

9. Lebewohl [sung text not yet checked]

Rauschend, flüsternder Baum
 . . . . . . . . . .

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10. Schönheit [sung text not yet checked]

Hoch wie am Zweige
 . . . . . . . . . .

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10. [No Title] [sung text not yet checked]

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11. Sudden light [sung text not yet checked]

         I have been here before,
              But when or how I cannot tell:
          I know the grass beyond the door,
              The sweet keen smell,
    The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.

          You have been mine before, --
              How long ago I may not know:
          But just when at that swallow's soar
              Your neck turned so,
    Some veil did fall, -- I knew it all of yore.

          Has this been thus before?
              And shall not thus time's eddying flight
          Still with our lives our love restore
              In death's despite,
    And day and night yield one delight once more? 

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Note: first published in 1863, revised in 1870 and 1881. In the 1870 version of the poem (from Poems: an Offering to Lancashire), the final stanza was as follows:
         Then, now, -- perchance again! . . . .
              O round mine eyes your tresses shake!
          Shall we not lie as we have lain
              Thus for Love's sake,
    And sleep, and wake, yet never break the chain?

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

11. Plötzliches Licht [sung text not yet checked]

War ich nicht hier zuvor
 . . . . . . . . . .

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12. Three shadows [sung text not yet checked]

I looked and saw your eyes 
In the shadow of your hair, 
As a traveller sees the stream 
In the shadow of the wood; 
And I said, "My faint heart sighs, 
Ah me! to linger there, 
To drink deep and to dream 
In that sweet solitude."
I looked and saw your heart 
In the shadow of your eyes, 
As a seeker sees the gold 
In the shadow of the stream; 
And I said, "Ah me! what art 
Should win the immortal prize, 
Whose want must make life cold 
And Heaven a hollow dream?"
I looked and saw your love 
In the shadow of your heart, 
As a diver sees the pearl 
In the shadow of the sea; 
And I murmured, not above 
My breath, but all apart,-- 
"Ah! you can love, true girl, 
And is your love for me?" 

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

12. Drei Schatten [sung text not yet checked]

Im Schatten deines Haar's
 . . . . . . . . . .

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