Sentimental Ballads

Song Cycle by Charles Edward Ives (1874 - 1954)

Word count: 723

1. Dreams [sung text checked 1 time]

When twilight comes with shadows drear,
I dream of thee, of thee dear one;
and grows my soul so dark and sad as shadows drear,
They tell me not to grieve love, for thou wilt come,
But oh! I can not tell why I fear their words are false:
I dream of theee, I dream of thee, love! 
And thou art near till I awake.

When I look back, when I look back on happier days,
my eyes are filled with tears;
I see thee then in visions plain, so true, so full of love.
But now I fear to ask them if thou art 'live;
They tell me not to grieve love! 
For thou wilt come at last:
I dream of thee, I dream of thee, love!
And thou art near till I awake.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Omens and Oracles [sung text checked 1 time]

Phantoms of the future, spectres of the past, 
In the wakeful night came round me sighing
crying "Fool beware, Fool beware!"
Check the feeling o'er thee stealing,
Let thy first love be thy last,
Or if love again thou must at least this fatal love forbear,"
Amara! Amara! Amara!

Now the dark breaks, now the lark wakes;
Now the voices fleet away,
Now the breeze about the blossom;
Now the ripple in the reed;
Beams and buds and birds begin to sing
and say, "Love her for she loves thee."
And I know not which to heed.
O, cara amara amara.

Authorship

Author confirmed with Crawford and Wierzbicki, Music in the United States of America, vol. 12, Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, American Musicological Society, 2004, p. 125


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]

3. An Old Flame [sung text checked 1 time]

When dreams enfold me, 
Then I behold thee,
See thee, the same loving sweetheart of old.
Through seasons gliding,
Thou art abiding
In the depths of my heart untold;
For I do love thee,
May God above his guarding care unfold.
Ah! could I meet thee,
And have thee greet me,
Come to me,
Stand by me,
Love me as yore,
Sadness outdone then,
New life would come then,
Such joy never known before;
For I do love thee,
May God above thee,
Bless thee ever more,
God bless thee! 
Love, Bless thee! Love.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. A night song [sung text checked 1 time]

The young May moon is beaming; love,
The glow-worm's lamp is gleaming, love,
        How sweet to rove
        Through Morna's grove,
When the drowsy world is dreaming, love!
Then awake! The heavens look bright, my dear,
'Tis never too late for delight, [my dear,]1
        And best of all ways
        To lengthen [our]2 days
Is to steal a few hours from the night, my [dear!]3

[ ... ]

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "La jeune lune de mai", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Thomas Moore, A New Edition from the last London Edition, Boston: Lee and Shepard; New York: Lee, Shepard, & Dillingham, 1876.

1 Omitted by Ives
2 Omitted by Ives
3 Ives: "my dear,/ When the drowsy world is dreaming, love!]

Researcher for this text: Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]

5. A Song - for anything [sung text checked 1 time]

Note: this is a multi-text setting


O have mercy Lord, on me,
Thou art ever kind,
O, let me oppress'd with guilt,
Thy mercy find.
The joy Thy favor gives, 
Let me regain,
Thy free spirit's firm support
My fainting soul sustain.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]


When the waves softly sigh,
When the sunbeams die;
When the night shadows fall,
Evening bells call,
Margarita! Margarita!
I think of thee!
While the silver moon is gleaming,
Of thee, I'm dreaming.

Yale, Farewell! we must part,
But in mind and heart,
We shall ever hold thee near,
Be life gay or drear.
Alma Mater! Alma Mater!
We will think of thee!
May the strength thou gavest
Ever be shown in ways, fair to see.

O have mercy Lord, on me,
Thou art ever kind,
O, let me oppress'd with guilt,
Thy mercy find.
The joy Thy favor gives, 
Let me regain,
Thy free spirit's firm support
My fainting soul sustain.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. The world's highway [sung text checked 1 time]

For long I wander'd happily
Far out on the world's highway
My heart was brave for each new thing
and I loved the faraway.
I watch'd the gay bright people dance,
We laughed, for the road was good.
But Oh! I passed where the way was rough
I saw it stained with blood -
I wander'd on till I tired grew,
Far on the world's highway...
My heart was sad for what I saw
I feared, I feared the faraway.
So when one day, O sweetest day,
I came to a garden small,
A voice my heart knew called me in
I answered its blessed call;
I left my wand'ring far and wide
The freedom and faraway -
But my garden blooms with sweet content
That's not on the world's highway.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. Kären [sung text checked 1 time]

Dost remember, [dear, when last]1 autumn we went 
Thro' the fields, how oft thy blue eyes on me were bent?
It flash'd across my mind
That till then I had been blind,
Tell me little Kären what thy heart felt then?

[...]

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1 Ives: "child! Last"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. Marie [sung text checked 1 time]

Marie, I see thee fairest one,
as in a garden fair.
Before thee flowers and blossoms play
tossed by soft evening air.

The pilgrim passing on his way,
Bows low before thy shrine;
Thou art, my child, like one sweet prayer,
So good, so fair, so pure almost divine.

How sweetly now the flowrets raise
their eyes to thy dear glance;
The fairest flower on which I gaze
is thy dear countenace.

The evening bells are greeting thee,
With sweetest melody,
O may no storm e'er crush thy flowers,
Or break thy heart, Marie!

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]