Five Poems of Emily Brontë

Song Cycle by Ronald A. Beckett

1. Tell me, tell me, smiling child [sung text not yet checked]

Tell me, tell me, smiling child,
What the past is like to thee?
"An autumn evening soft and mild
With a wind that sighs mournfully."

Tell me, what is the present hour?
"A green and flowery spray
Where a young bird sits gathering its power
To mount and fly away."

[Tell me, tell me,]1 what is the future, happy one?
"A sea beneath a cloudless sun;
 a mighty, glorious, dazzling sea
Stretching into infinity.

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Note: in the Fisk work, this is sung by Nelly (asking the questions), Cathy (first and last answers) and Hareton (second answer).
1 Fisk: "And"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. A little budding rose [sung text not yet checked]

It was a little budding rose,
Round like a fairy globe,
And shyly did its leaves unclose
Hid in their mossy robe,
But sweet was the slight and spicy smell
It breathed from its heart invisible. 

The rose is blasted, withered, blighted,
Its root has felt a worm,
And like a heart beloved and slighted,
Failed, faded, shrunk its form.
Bud of beauty, bonnie flower,
I stole thee from thy natal bower. 

I was the worm that withered thee,
Thy tears of dew all fell for me;
Leaf and stalk and rose are gone,
Exile earth they died upon.
Yes, that last breath of balmy scent
With alien breezes sadly blent!

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Researcher for this text: Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]

3. Still beside the dreary water [sung text not yet checked]

Still beside that dreary water
Stood he 'neath the cold moon ray
Thinking on the deed of slaughter
On his heart that darkly lay.

Soft the voice that broke his dreaming
Stealing through the silent air;
Yet, before, the raven's screaming
He had heard regardless there.

Once his name was sweetly uttered,
Then the echo died away,
But each pulse in horror fluttered
As the life would pass away.

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Researcher for this text: Nick Peros

4. I'll come when thou art saddest [sung text not yet checked]

I'll come when thou art saddest
Laid alone in the darkened room;
When the mad day's mirth has vanished
And the smile of joy is banished
From evening's chilly gloom.

I'll come when the heart's real feeling
Has entire unbiassed sway,
And my influence o'er thee stealing,
Grief deepening, joy congealing,
Shall bear thy soul away.

Listen, 'tis just the hour,
The awful time for thee;
Dost thou not feel upon thy soul
A flood of strange sensations roll,
Forerunners of a sterner power,
Heralds of me?

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Note: in the Fisk work, this is sung by Catherine

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. The evening sun [sung text not yet checked]

The evening sun was sinking down  
On low green hills and clustered trees
It was a scene as fair and lone
As ever felt the soothing breeze
That bends the grass when day is gone
And gives the wave a brighter blue
And makes the soft white clouds sail on    
Like spirits of eternal dew
Which all the morn had hovered o'er
The azure flowers where they were nursed
And now return to heaven once more
Where their bright glories shone at first.

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Researcher for this text: Nick Peros
Total word count: 424