Quickening

Song Cycle by Robert Hugill

Word count: 544

1. Song [sung text checked 1 time]

When I am dead, my dearest,
  Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
  Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
  With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
  And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
  I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
  Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
  That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
  And haply may forget.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Nach meinem Tode, Liebster", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Canzone", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

2. Bitter for sweet [sung text checked 1 time]

Summer is gone with all its roses,
  Its sun and perfumes and sweet flowers,
  Its warm air and refreshing showers:
    And even Autumn closes.

Yea, Autumn's chilly self is going,
  And winter comes which is yet colder;
  Each day the hoar-frost waxes bolder
    And the last buds cease blowing.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , "Süße weicht Bitternis", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Two pursuits [sung text checked 1 time]

A voice said, "Follow, follow": and I rose
 And followed far into the dreamy night,
 Turning my back upon the pleasant light.
 
It led me where the bluest water flows,
And would not let me drink: where corn grows
 I dared not pause, but went uncheered by sight
 Or touch, until at length in evil plight.
 
It left me, wearied out with many woes.
Some time I sat as one bereft of sense:
 But soon another voice, from very far
  Called, "Follow, follow": and I rose again.
 Now on my night has dawned a blessed star:
  Kind steady hands my sinking steps sustain,
And will not leave me till I shall go hence.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Remember [sung text checked 1 time]

Remember me when I am gone away,
  Gone far away into the silent land;
  When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
  You tell me of our future that you planned:
  Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
  And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
  For if the darkness and corruption leave
  A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
  Than that you should remember and be sad.

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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Withering [sung text checked 1 time]

Fade, tender lily,
 Fade, O crimson rose,
Fade every flower,
 Sweetest flower that blows.
 
Go, Chilly autumn,
 Come, O winter cold;
Let the green stalks die away
 Into common mould.
 
Birth follows hard on death,
 Life on withering;
Hasten, we will come the sooner
 Back to pleasant spring.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. The first spring day [sung text checked 1 time]

I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,
If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
    Sing, robin, sing;
I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring.

I wonder if the springtide of this year
Will bring another Spring both lost and dear;
If heart and spirit will find out their Spring,
Or if the world alone will bud and sing: 
    Sing, hope, to me;
Sweet notes, my hope, soft notes for memory.

The sap will surely quicken soon or late,
The tardiest bird will twitter to a mate;
So Spring must dawn again with warmth and bloom,
Or in this world, or in the world to come:
    Sing, voice of Spring,
Till I too blossom and rejoice and sing.

Authorship

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]