Ten Dickinson Songs

Song Cycle by Paul Wehage

Word count: 653

1. A wounded Deer - leaps highest [sung text not yet checked]

A wounded Deer - leaps highest -
I've heard the Hunter tell -
'Tis but the extasy of death -
And then the Brake is still!

The smitten Rock that gushes!
The trampled Steel that springs!
A Cheek is always redder
Just where the Hectic stings!

Mirth is the mail of Anguish -
In which it cautious Arm,
Lest Anybody spy the blood
And "you're hurt" exclaim! 

Authorship

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , no title, copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Bertram Kottmann

2. I taste a liquor never brewed [sung text not yet checked]

I taste a liquor never brewed,
From tankards scooped in pearl;
Not all the vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an alcohol!

Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.

When landlords turn the drunken bee
Out of the foxglove's door,
When butterflies renounce their drams,
I shall but drink the more!

Till seraphs swing their snowy hats,
And saints to windows run,
To see the little tippler
Leaning against the sun!

Authorship

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. For each ecstatic instant [sung text not yet checked]

For each ecstatic instant
We must an anguish pay
In keen and quivering ratio
To the ecstasy.

For each beloved hour
Sharp pittances of years,
Bitter contested farthings
And coffers heaped with tears.

Authorship

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Per ogni attimo d'estasi", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. The nearest dream recedes, unrealized [sung text not yet checked]

The nearest Dream recedes - unrealized - 
The Heaven we chase -
Like the June Bee - before the School Boy -
Invites the Race -
Stoops - to an easy Clover -
Dips - evades - teazes - deploys -
Then - to the Royal Clouds
Lifts his light Pinnace -
Heedless of the Boy -
Staring - bewildered - at the mocking sky - 

Homesick for steadfast Honey -
Ah - the Bee flies not
That brews that rare variety! 

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Bertram Kottmann

5. Except the heaven had come so near [sung text not yet checked]

Except the Heaven had come so near --
So seemed to choose My Door --
The Distance would not haunt me so --
I had not hoped -- before --

But just to hear the Grace depart --
I never thought to see --
Afflicts me with a Double loss --
'Tis lost -- And lost to me -- 

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Bertram Kottmann

6. If tolling bell I ask the cause [sung text not yet checked]

If tolling bell I ask the cause.
„A soul has gone to God,“
I’m answered in a lonesome tone;
Is heaven then so sad?

That bells should joyful ring to tell
A soul had gone to heaven,
Would seem to me the proper way
A good news should be given.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Bertram Kottmann

7. Good night! which put the candle out? [sung text not yet checked]

Good Night! Which put
the Candle out?
A jealous Zephyr - not a
doubt -
Ah, friend, you little knew
How long at that celestial
wick
The Angels - labored diligent -
Extinguished - now - for you!

It might - have been the
Light House spark -
Some Sailor - rowing in the
Dark -
Had importuned to see!
It might - have been the
Waning lamp
That lit the Drummer
from the Camp
To purer Reveille! 

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Bertram Kottmann

8. On this long storm the Rainbow rose [sung text not yet checked]

On this long storm the rainbow rose,
On this late morn the sun;
The clouds, like listless elephants,
Horizons straggled down. 

The birds rose smiling in their nests,
The gales indeed were done;
Alas! how heedless were the eyes
On whom the summer shone! 

The quiet nonchalance of death
No daybreak can bestir;
The slow archangel's syllables
Must awaken her.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

9. Musicians wrestle everywhere [sung text not yet checked]

Musicians wrestle everywhere:
All day, among the crowded air,
I hear the silver strife;
And - waking long before the [dawn]1 -
Such transport breaks upon the town
I think it that "new life"!

It is not bird, it has no nest;
Nor band, in brass and scarlet dressed,
Nor tambourine, nor man;
It is not hymn from pulpit read, -
The morning stars the treble led
On time's first afternoon!

Some say it is the spheres at play!
Some say that bright majority
Of vanished dames and men!
Some think it service in the place
Where we, with late, celestial face,
Please God, shall ascertain!

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Carter: "morn"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

10. On this wondrous sea [sung text not yet checked]

On this wondrous sea,
Sailing silently,
[Ho! pilot, ho!
Knowest thou the shore]1
Where no breakers roar,
Where the storm is o'er?

In the silent west
Many [the]2 sails at rest,
Their anchors fast;
Thither I pilot thee, -
Land, ho! Eternity!
Ashore at last!

Authorship

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 lines inverted by Bacon ?
2 omitted by Bacon ?
Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]