Four Romantic Songs

Song Cycle by Ronald A. Beckett

Word count: 405

1. When I was one and twenty [sung text not yet checked]

When I was one and twenty
   I lov'd a pretty face,
And if a hundred smiled on me
   I took my luck with grace.
Whate'er they bade, I swore it,
   By all the gods above,
For I was one and twenty
   And over heels in love.

Oh then I feared no window,
   Nor heeded any door,
I always had one girl to love
   And might have loved a score.
And when a graybeard glowered,
   And tried my heart to. move,
"A fig!" I said, "old Wrinkled-head,
   You've never been, in love!"

So if ye'd fain keep jolly,
   And if ye'd all be young
With nothing bitter in your heart,
   Or acid on your tongue;
Just fall in love as I did,
   Just do as I have done,
And though you live to fifty,
   You're always twenty-one.

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Researcher for this text: Harry Joelson

2. Ozymandias [sung text not yet checked]

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast [and]1 trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive (stamped on these lifeless things,)
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"[My name is]2 Ozimandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing besides remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

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View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Volume 2, London, George Bell & Sons, 1892, page 294.

1 omitted by Manno.
2 Manno: "I am"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. When I heard the learn'd astronomer [sung text not yet checked]

When I heard the learn'd astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer,
     where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. So we'll go no more a-roving [sung text not yet checked]

So we'll go no more a-roving
  So late into the night,
Though the heart be [still]1 as loving,
  And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears [the]2 sheath,
  And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart [must pause to breathe]3,
  And Love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
  And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
  By the light of the moon.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , "So werden wir nicht mehr schweifen", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
Included in a letter to Thomas Moore on February 28, 1817
See also Henley's "We'll go no more a-roving"
1 Armstrong, White: "ne'er"
2 Chávez: "its"
3 Armstrong, White: "itself must pause"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]