Five Sonnets from The Triumph of Love

Song Cycle by Charles Villiers Stanford, Sir (1852 - 1924)

Word count: 553

1. O one deep sacred outlet of my soul! [sung text checked 1 time]

O one deep sacred outlet of my soul!
O soothing wound through which my life-blood flows!
Were it not well that Time should make thee whole,
And soothe with numbing touch thy poignant throes!
Ah no! for in Time’s triumph love would die,
And love is more than life. O wounded heart,
Bleed on, exultant in love’s agony,
Bleed on, defiant of Time’s healing art.
Dear wound, bleed on; and ever, as the tide
Of inward life wells up and gushes through,
Into the hollows of my heart will glide,
From deep mysterious fountains lost to view,
Drawn by the pulsing outrush of my blood,
Love’s life-renewing, life-transforming flood.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Christopher Howell

2. Like as the thrush in winter when the skies [sung text checked 1 time]

Like as the thrush in winter when the skies
Are drear and dark and all the woods are bare,
Sings undismayed, till from his melodies
Odours of spring float through the frozen air; -
So in my heart, when sorrow’s icy breath
Is bleak and bitter, and its frost is strong,
Leaps up, defiant of despair and death,
A sunlit mountain of triumphant song.
Sing on, sweet singer, till the violets come,
And south winds blow; sing on, prophetic bird!
Oh, if my lips, which are for ever dumb,
Could sing to men what my sad heart has heard –
Life’s darkest hour with songs of joy would ring,
Life’s blackest frost would blossom into spring.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Christopher Howell

3. When in the solemn stillness of the night [sung text checked 1 time]

When in the solemn stillness of the night,
My musing soul is filled with love of thee,
I seem to stand upon the world’s last height,
The flaming rampart of all things that be.
And as I pause upon that lonely verge
And plunge my gaze into the gulf below,
I see the cosmic billows sweep and surge
From death to life, with endless ebb and flow.
But howsoever deep my soul may drink
Of light and life, and wonder and desire, -
Love still remains, - the love that thou hast waked –
Its deeps unfathomed and its thirst unslaked.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Christopher Howell

4. I think that we were children long ago [sung text checked 1 time]

I think that we were children long ago
In some far land beyond the gates of death,
Where souls, too innocent for bliss or woe,
Wait for renewal of their mortal breath.
I think we played together on the shore
Of some blue inlet of eternity,
And heard the waters rolling evermore,
And saw the mystic light on land and sea.
I think we roam’d together, side by side, -
Heart link’d to heart in childhood’s guileless love –
Haunted by fears of Ocean waste and wide,
By gleams of glory from the worlds above,
By faint remembrances of days on earth,
By dim forebodings of our second birth.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Christopher Howell

5. O flames of passion, will ye never die [sung text checked 1 time]

O flames of passion, will ye never die,
That trampled into dust anon revive,
And wrap my heart in fire and stream on high! –
O rebel flames, die down and ye shall live.
Ay, ye shall burn more bravely than of old,
Fed by the fuel of love’s self-control, -
Burn till your fiercer heat seems pale and cold,
Burn in the furnace of love’s inmost soul.
Ay, ye shall burn, when Love has quenched your fire,
Burn on for aye, triumphant in your death;
For, as your tempest-driven waves expire,
They wake again, lit by love’s purest breath; -
Wake to new life, though lost to mortal sight,
In love’s white flame, in love’s transcendent light.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Christopher Howell