Seven Songs of Love and Sorrow

by Ruth Schonthal (1924 - 2006)

Word count: 587

1. These are the days [sung text not yet checked]

These are the days when Birds come back --
A very few -- a Bird or two --
To take a backward look.

These are the days when skies resume
The old -- old sophistries of June --
A blue and gold mistake.

Oh fraud that cannot cheat the Bee --
Almost thy plausibility
Induces my belief.

Till ranks of seeds their witness bear --
And softly thro' the altered air
Hurries a timid leaf.

Oh Sacrament of summer days,
Oh Last Communion in the Haze --
Permit a child to join.

Thy sacred emblems to partake --
They consecrated bread to take
And thine immortal wine!

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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
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]

2. Wild nights [sung text not yet checked]

Wild nights! -- Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile -- the [Wind]1 --
To a heart in port, --
Done with the Compass, --
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden --
Ah! the Sea!
Might I but moor -- Tonight --
In thee!

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

  • CHI Chinese (中文) (Mei Foong Ang) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , "Sturmnacht! - Sturmnacht!", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Notti selvagge! Notti di tempesta!", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 note: sometimes "Winds". Hoiby, Leisner, Rusche, A. Thomas: "Winds"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Poor bit of a wench [sung text not yet checked]

Will no one say hush! to thee,
poor lass, poor bit of a wench?
Will never a man say: Come, my pigeon,
come an' be still wi' me, my own bit of a wench!

And would you peck out his eyes if he did?

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4. The dove descending [sung text not yet checked]

The dove descending breaks the air
 [ ... ]

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Note: first published in New English Weekly, October 1942.


5. A woman's last word [sung text not yet checked]

I.
Let's contend no more, Love,
Strive nor weep:
All be as before, Love,
-- Only sleep!

II.
What so wild as words are?
I and thou
In debate, as birds are,
Hawk on bough!

III.
See the creature stalking
While we speak!
Hush and hide the talking,
Cheek on cheek!

IV.
What so false as truth is,
False to thee?
Where the serpent's tooth is
Shun the tree --

V.
Where the apple reddens
Never pry --
Lest we lose our Edens,
Eve and I.

VI.
Be a god and hold me
With a charm!
Be a man and fold me
With thine arm!

VII.
Teach me, only teach, Love
As I ought
I will speak thy speech, Love,
Think thy thought --

VIII.
Meet, if thou require it,
Both demands,
Laying flesh and spirit
In thy hands.

IX.
That shall be to-morrow
Not to-night:
I must bury sorrow
Out of sight:

X.
-- Must a little weep, Love,
(Foolish me!)
And so fall asleep, Love,
Loved by thee.

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6. With rue my heart is laden [sung text not yet checked]

With rue my heart is laden
 For golden friends I had,
For many a rose-lipt maiden
 And many a lightfoot lad.

By brooks too broad for leaping
 The lightfoot boys are laid;
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping 
 In fields where roses fade.

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7. Go from me [sung text not yet checked]

Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore
Alone upon the threshold of my door
Of individual life, I shall command
The uses of my soul, nor lift my hand
Serenely in the sunshine as before,
Without the sense of that which I forbore...
Thy touch upon the palm. The widest land
Doom takes to part us, leaves thy heart in mine
With pulses that beat double. What I do
And what I dream include thee, as the wine
Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue
God for myself, He bears that name of thine,
And sees within my eyes, the tears of two.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]