Five Sonnets

Song Cycle by Gary Bachlund (b. 1947)

Word count: 544

1. Sonnet VIII - "Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly?" [sung text checked 1 time]

Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy.
Why lovest thou that which thou receivest not gladly,
Or else receivest with pleasure thine annoy?
If the true concord of well-tunèd sounds,
By unions married, do offend thine ear,
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear.
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering,
Resembling sire and child and happy mother,
Who, all in one, one pleasing note do sing.
  Whose speechless song, being many, seeming one,
  Sings this to thee: "Thou single wilt prove none."

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Researcher for this text: Jeroen Scholten

2. Sonnet XVIII - "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" [sung text checked 1 time]

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
[Sometime]1 too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
  [So long]2 as men can breathe or eyes can see,
  So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

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1 Wilkinson: "Sometimes"
2 Wilkinson: "As long"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Sonnet XIX - "Devouring Time" [sung text checked 1 time]

Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws,
And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;
Make glad [and]1 sorry seasons as thou fleets,
As do whate'er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
To the wide world and [all]2 her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:
O! carve not with thy hours my love's fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;
Him in thy course untainted do allow
For beauty's pattern to succeeding men.
  Yet, do thy worst old Time: despite thy wrong, 
  My love shall in my verse ever live young.

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1 Bachlund: "the"
2 omitted by Bachlund.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Sonnet XXX - "When to the sessions of sweet silent thought" [sung text checked 1 time]

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
  But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
  All losses are restored and sorrows end.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Sonnet LXVI - "Tir'd with all these, for restful death I cry" [sung text checked 1 time]

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappilly forsworn,
And gilded honour shamefully misplaced,
[And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted]1
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly, doctor-like, controlling skill,
And simple truth miscalled simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill:
  [Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
  Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.]2

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1 omitted by Eisler.
2 instead of the last two lines Eisler repeats the first.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]