Three Short Elegies

Song Cycle by Gerald Finzi (1901 - 1956)

Word count: 0

1. Life a right shadow is [sung text checked 1 time]

Life a right shadow is,
For it is long to appear,
then it is spent,
and death's long night draws near:
Shadows are moving, light,
And is there aught so moving as is this?
When it is most in sight,
It steals away,
and none can tell how, where,
So near our cradles to our
coffins are.

Authorship

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Wim Reedijk) , "Leven, een schim niet meer", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Wijtse Rodenburg

2. This world a hunting is [sung text checked 1 time]

This world a hunting is,
The prey poor man,
The Nimrod fierce is death.
His speedy greyhounds are
Lust, sickness, envy, care,
Strife that ne'er falls amiss,
With all those ills which haunt us
While we breathe.
Now if by chance we fly
Of these the eager chase,
Old age with stealing pace
Casts up his nets,
and there we panting die.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. This life, which seems so fair [sung text checked 1 time]

This Life, which seems so fair,
Is like a bubble blown up in the air
By sporting children's breath,
Who chase it everywhere
And strive who can most motion it bequeath.
And though it sometimes seem of its own might
Like to an eye of gold to be fixed there,
And firm to hover in that empty height,
That only is because it is so light.
But in that pomp it doth not long appear;
For when 'tis most admired, in a thought,
Because it erst was nought, it turns to nought. 

Authorship

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]