Three Lyrics by Christina Rossetti

Song Cycle by Cecil Armstrong Gibbs (1889 - 1960)

Word count: 308

1. The Lamb and the Dove [sung text not yet checked]

Did any bird come flying
  After Adam and Eve,
When the door was shut against them
  And they sat down to grieve?

I think not Eve's peacock
  Splendid to see,
And I think not Adam's eagle;
  But a dove may be.

Did any beast come pushing
  Through the thorny hedge
Into the thorny, thistly world
  Out from Eden's edge?

I think not a lion,
  Though his strength is such;
But an innocent loving lamb
  May have done as much.

If the dove preached from her bough
  And the lamb from his sod,
The lamb and the dove
  Were preachers sent from God.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. A birthday [sung text not yet checked]

My heart is like a singing bird
  Whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple tree
  Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
  That paddles in a [purple]1 sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
  Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of [silk and down]2;
  Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
  And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
  In leaves and [silver]3 fleur-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
  Is come, my love, is come to me.

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Aldridge, Hall: "halcyon"
2 Parry: "purple and gold"
3 Aldridge: "tiny"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Gone were but the winter [sung text not yet checked]

Gone were but the Winter,
Come were but the Spring,
I would go to a covert
Where the birds sing;

Where in the whitethorn
Singeth a thrush,
And a robin sings
In the holly-bush.

Full of fresh scents
Are the budding boughs
Arching high over
A cool green house:

Full of sweet scents,
And whispering air
Which sayeth softly:
"We spread no snare;

"Here dwell in safety,
Here dwell alone,
With a clear stream
And a mossy stone.

"Here the sun shineth
Most shadily;
Here is heard an echo
Of the far sea,
Though far off it be."

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First published in Macmillan's Magazine, 1865, rev. 1866

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]