Three Songs of Beauty

by John Herbert Foulds (1880 - 1939)

1. There be none of Beauty's daughters [sung text not yet checked]

There be none of Beauty's daughters
  With a magic like thee;
And like music on the waters
  Is thy sweet voice to me:
When, as if its sound were causing
The [charmèd]1 ocean's pausing,
The waves lie still and gleaming,
And the lull'd winds seem dreaming:

And the midnight moon is weaving
  Her bright chain o'er the deep;
Whose breast is gently heaving
  As an infant's asleep:
So the spirit bows before thee,
To listen and adore thee;
With a full but soft emotion,
Like the swell of Summer's ocean.

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Sloky pro hudbu"
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Alexis Paulin Pâris) , "Stances à mettre en musique"
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Fra tutte le più belle", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Mendelssohn: "charm'd"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Helen [sung text not yet checked]

Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicéan barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
The weary, way-worn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece,
And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo! In yon brilliant window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand!
Ah, Psyche, from the regions which
Are Holy-Land!

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3. To one in Paradise [sung text not yet checked]

Thou wast all that to me, love,
    For which my soul did pine -- 
A green isle in the sea, love,
    A fountain and a shrine, 
All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,
    And all the flowers were mine.

Ah, dream too bright to last!
   Ah, starry Hope! that didst arise 
But to be overcast!
   A voice from out the Future cries, 
"On! on!" -- but o'er the Past
   (Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies 
Mute, motionless, aghast!

For, alas! alas! with me
    The light of Life is o'er! 
No more -- no more -- no more --
   (Such language holds the solemn sea 
To the sands upon the shore)
   Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree, 
Or the stricken eagle soar!

And all my days are trances,
   And all my nightly dreams 
Are where thy gray eye glances,
   And where thy footsteps gleams --
In what ethereal dances,
   By what eternal streams.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Total word count: 320