A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass

Song Cycle by Joshua Zinn (b. 1990)

Word count: 631

1. Song [sung text checked 1 time]

Oh!  To be a flower
 Nodding in the sun,
Bending, then upspringing
 As the breezes run;
Holding up
A scent-brimmed cup,
 Full of summer's fragrance to the summer sun.

Oh!  To be a butterfly
 Still, upon a flower,
Winking with its painted wings,
 Happy in the hour.
Blossoms hold
Mines of gold
 Deep within the farthest heart of each chaliced flower.

Oh!  To be a cloud
 Blowing through the blue,
Shadowing the mountains,
 Rushing loudly through
Valleys deep
Where torrents keep
 Always their plunging thunder and their misty arch of blue.

Oh!  To be a wave
 Splintering on the sand,
Drawing back, but leaving
 Lingeringly the land.
Rainbow light
Flashes bright
 Telling tales of coral caves half hid in yellow sand.

Soon they die, the flowers;
 Insects live a day;
Clouds dissolve in showers;
 Only waves at play
Last forever.
Shall endeavor
 Make a sea of purpose mightier than we dream to-day?

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Andrew Schneider [Guest Editor]

2. Hora Stellatrix [sung text checked 1 time]

The stars hang thick in the apple tree,
The south wind smells of the pungent sea,
Gold tulip cups are heavy with dew.
The night's for you, Sweetheart, for you!
Starfire rains from the vaulted blue.

Listen!  The dancing of unseen leaves.
A drowsy swallow stirs in the eaves.
Only a maiden is sorrowing.
'T is night and spring, Sweetheart, and spring!
Starfire lights your heart's blossoming.

In the intimate dark there's never an ear,
Though the tulips stand on tiptoe to hear,
So give; ripe fruit must shrivel or fall.
As you are mine, Sweetheart, give all!
Starfire sparkles, your coronal.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Andrew Schneider [Guest Editor]

3. The Road to Avignon [sung text checked 1 time]

A Minstrel stands on a marble stair,
Blown by the bright wind, debonair;
Below lies the sea, a sapphire floor,
Above on the terrace a turret door
Frames a lady, listless and wan,
But fair for the eye to rest upon.
The minstrel plucks at his silver strings,
And looking up to the lady, sings: —
   Down the road to Avignon,
   The long, long road to Avignon,
   Across the bridge to Avignon,
   One morning in the spring.

The octagon tower casts a shade
Cool and gray like a cutlass blade;
In sun-baked vines the cicalas spin,
The little green lizards run out and in.
A sail dips over the ocean's rim,
And bubbles rise to the fountain's brim.
The minstrel touches his silver strings,
And gazing up to the lady, sings: —
   Down the road to Avignon,
   The long, long road to Avignon,
   Across the bridge to Avignon,
   One morning in the spring.

Slowly she walks to the balustrade,
Idly notes how the blossoms fade
In the sun's caress; then crosses where
The shadow shelters a carven chair.
Within its curve, supine she lies,
And wearily closes her tired eyes.
The minstrel beseeches his silver strings,
And holding the lady spellbound, sings: —
   Down the road to Avignon,
   The long, long road to Avignon,
   Across the bridge to Avignon,
   One morning in the spring.

Clouds sail over the distant trees,
Petals are shaken down by the breeze,
They fall on the terrace tiles like snow;
The sighing of waves sounds, far below.
A humming-bird kisses the lips of a rose
Then laden with honey and love he goes.
The minstrel woos with his silver strings,
And climbing up to the lady, sings: —
   Down the road to Avignon,
   The long, long road to Avignon,
   Across the bridge to Avignon,
   One morning in the spring.

Step by step, and he comes to her,
Fearful lest she suddenly stir.
Sunshine and silence, and each to each,
The lute and his singing their only speech;
He leans above her, her eyes unclose,
The humming-bird enters another rose.
The minstrel hushes his silver strings.
Hark!  The beating of humming-birds' wings!
   Down the road to Avignon,
   The long, long road to Avignon,
   Across the bridge to Avignon,
   One morning in the spring.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Andrew Schneider [Guest Editor]