Poems of Hilaire Belloc

Song Cycle by Robert McCauley

Word count: 734

1. Auvergnat [sung text checked 1 time]

There was a man was half a clown
(It's so my father tells of it).
He saw the church in [Claremont]1 town
And laughed to hear the bells of it.

He laughed to hear the bells that ring
In Claremont Church and round of it;
He heard the verger's daughter sing,
And loved her for the sound of it. 

The verger's daughter said him nay;
She had the right of choice in it.
He left the town at break of day;
He hadn't had a voice in it.

The road went up, the road went down,
And there the matter ended it.
He broke his heart in Claremont town.
At Pontgibaud they mended it.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Goodhart: "Clermont" throughout.

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

2. Ha'nacker Mill [sung text checked 1 time]

Sally is gone that was so kindly
Sally is gone from Ha'nacker Hill.
And the Briar grows ever since then so blindly
[ And ever since then the clapper is still,]1
And the sweeps have fallen from Ha'nacker Mill.

Ha'nacker Hill is in Desolation:
Ruin a-top and a field unploughed.
And Spirits that call on a fallen nation
[ Spirits that loved her calling aloud:]1
Spirits abroad in a windy cloud.

Spirits that call and no one answers;
Ha'nacker's down and England's done.
Wind and Thistle for pipe and dancers
And never a ploughman under the Sun.
Never a ploughman. Never a one.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Warlock.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Tarantella [sung text checked 1 time]

Do you remember an Inn,
Miranda?
Do you remember an Inn?
And the tedding and the spreading
Of the straw for a bedding,
And the fleas that tease in the [High]1 Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of [tar]2?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
(Under the vine of the dark verandah)?
Do you remember an Inn, Miranda?
Do you remember an Inn?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
Who hadn't got a penny
And who weren't paying any,
And the hammer at the doors and the din?
And the hip! hop! hap!
Of the clap
Of the hands to the [swirl and the twirl]3
of the girl gone chancing,
Glancing,
Dancing,
Backing and advancing,
Snapping of the clapper to the spin
Out and in --
And the ting, tong, tang of the guitar!
Do you remember an Inn, 
Miranda?
Do you remember an Inn?

Never more; 
Miranda,
Never more.
Only the high peaks hoar:
And Aragon a torrent at the door.
No sound
In the walls of the halls where falls
The tread 
Of the feet of the dead to the ground,
No sound:
But the boom
Of the [waterfall]4 like doom.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Toye: "Highly"
2 Toye: "the tar"
3 Toye: "twirl and the swirl"
4 Toye: "far waterfall"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Ballad of Hell and of Mrs Roebeck [sung text checked 1 time]

I'm going out to dine at Gray's
With Bertie Morden, Charles and Kit,
And Manderly who never pays,
And Jane who wins in spite of it,
And Algernon who won't admit 
The truth about his curious hair
And teeth that very nearly fit:

And Mrs Roebeck will be there.

And then to-morrow someone says
That someone else has made a hit
In one of Mister Twister's plays. 
And off we go to yawn at it;
And when it's petered out we quit
For number 20, Taunton Square,
And smoke, and drink, and dance a bit: 

And Mrs Roebeck will be there. 

 And so through each declining phase
Of emptied effort, jaded wit,
And day by day of London days
Obscurely, more obscurely, lit ;
Until the uncertain shadows flit
Announcing to the shuddering air
A Darkening, and the end of it :

And Mrs Roebeck will be there.

Princes, on their iron thrones they sit,
Impassible to our despair,
The dreadful Guardians of the Pit:

And Mrs Roebeck will be there.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. He does not die [sung text checked 1 time]

He does not die [I wrote]1 that can bequeath 
Some influence to the land he knows, 
Or dares, persistent, interwreath 
Love permanent with the wild hedgerows; 
  He does not die but still remains 
  Substantiate with his darling plains. 

The spring's superb adventure calls 
His dust athwart the woods to flame; 
His boundary river's secret falls 
Perpetuate and repeat his name. 
  He rides his loud October sky: 
  He does not die. He does not die. 

The beeches know the accustomed head 
Which loved them, and a peopled air 
Beneath their benediction spread 
Comforts the silence everywhere ; 
  For native ghosts return and these 
  Perfect the mystery in the trees. 

So, therefore, though myself be crost 
The shuddering of that dreadful day 
When friend and fire and home are lost 
And even children drawn away -- 
  The passer-by shall hear me still, 
  A boy that sings on Duncton Hill.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by McCauley

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]