Silvery Songs

Song Cycle by Rick Sowash (b. 1950)

Word count: 330

1. The shepherd [sung text checked 1 time]

When I was out one morning --
In a meadow, white with sheep,
Lay a shepherd by a haystack
Fast asleep.

With me the lark was carolling,
There was gold and green and blue;
But what, you drowsy shepherd,
Was with you?

Was it night and water gushing
And moonbeams cold and clear
On the softly silver-slipping	
Dripping weir?

Was it childhood, was it sweetheart,
Was it distant isles and seas,
Day of Judgment, Harvest Home, or
Bread and cheese?

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Paul Ezust [Guest Editor]

2. Silver [sung text checked 1 time]

Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch 
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
[From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep]1
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Bachlund, Britten, Duke, Gibbs.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. The snowflake [sung text checked 1 time]

Before I melt,
Come, look at me!
This lovely icy filigree!
Of a great forest
In one night
I make a wilderness
Of white:
By skyey cold
Of crystals made,
All softly, on
Your finger laid,
I pause, that you
My beauty see:
Breathe, and I vanish
Instantly.

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Researcher for this text: David Sims [Guest Editor]

4. Wanderers [sung text checked 1 time]

Wide are the meadows of night,
And daisies are shinng there,
Tossing their lovely dews,
Lustrous and fair;
And through these sweet fields go,
Wanderers amid the stars --
Venus, Mercury, Uranus, Neptune,
Saturn, Jupiter, Mars.

'Tired in their silver, they move,
And circling, whisper and say,
Fair are the blossoming meads of delight
Through which we stray.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Rain [sung text checked 1 time]

I woke in the swimming dark
And heard, now sweet, now shrill,
The voice of the rain-water
Cold and still,

Endlessly sing; now faint,
In the distance borne away;
Now in the air float near,
But nowhere stay;

Singing I know not what,
Echoing on and on;
Following me in sleep,
Till night was gone.

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Researcher for this text: David Sims [Guest Editor]