In a gondola

Song Cycle by Alice Barnett (1886 - 1975)

Word count: 702

1. Serenade [sung text not yet checked]

I send my heart up to thee, all my heart 
  In this my singing,
For the stars help me, and the sea, and the sea bears part;
  The very night is clinging
Closer to Venice' streets to leave one space 
  Above me, whence thy face
May light my joyous heart to thee, to thee its dwelling place.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Denise Ritter Bernardini) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Confirmed with The World’s Best Poetry, ed. by Bliss Carman, et al. Philadelphia: John D. Morris & Co., 1904; Bartleby.com, 2012. http://www.bartleby.com/360/2/248.html ; an excerpt from a longer poem titled "Love's power", subtitled "In a gondola" (the beginning).


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Boat-Song [sung text not yet checked]

Past we glide, and past, and past!
What's that poor Agnese doing
Where they make the shutters fast?
Grey Zanobi's just a-wooing
To his couch the purchased bride:
Past we glide!

Past we glide, and past, and past!
Why's the Pucci Palace flaring
Like a beacon to the blast?
Guests by hundreds, not one caring
If the dear host's neck were wried:
Past we glide!

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. The moth's kiss [sung text not yet checked]

The moth's kiss, first! 
Kiss me as if you made me believe
You were not sure, this eve,
How my face, your flower, had pursed
Its petals up; so, here and there
You brush it, till I grow aware
Who wants me, and wide ope I burst. 

The bee's kiss, now! 
Kiss me as if you enter'd gay
My heart at some noonday,
A bud that dares not disallow
The claim, so all is render'd up,
And passively its shatter'd cup
Over your head to sleep I bow.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. What are we two? [sung text not yet checked]

What are we two?
I am a Jew,
And carry thee, farther than friends can pursue,
To a feast of our tribe;
Where they need thee to bribe
The devil that blasts them unless he imbibe.
Thy . . . Scatter the vision for ever! And now
As of old, I am I, thou art thou!

Say again, what we are?
The sprite of a star,
I lure thee above where the destinies bar
My plumes their full play
Till a ruddier ray
Than my pale one announce there is withering away
Some . . . Scatter the vision forever! And now,
As of old, I am I, thou art thou!

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. He Muses - Drifting [sung text not yet checked]

What if the Three should catch at last
Thy serenader? While there's cast
Paul's cloak about my head, and fast
Gian pinions me, Himself has past
His stylet thro' my back; I reel;
And . . . is it thou I feel?

They trail me, these three godless knaves,
Past every church that saints and saves,
Nor stop till, where the cold sea raves
By Lido's wet accursed graves,
They scoop mine, roll me to its brink,
And . . . on thy breast I sink!

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Dip your arm o'er the boatside [sung text not yet checked]

Dip your arm o'er the boat-side, elbow-deep,
As I do: thus: were death so unlike sleep,
Caught this way? Death's to fear from flame or steel,
Or poison doubtless; but from water -- feel!
Go find the bottom! Would you stay me? There!
Now pluck a great blade of that ribbon-grass
To plait in where the foolish jewel was,
I flung away: since you have praised my hair,
'Tis proper to be choice in what I wear.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. Tomorrow, if a harp-string, say [sung text not yet checked]

To-morrow, if a harp-string, say,
Is used to tie the jasmine back
That overfloods my room with sweets,
Contrive your Zorzi somehow meets
My Zanze! If the ribbon's black,
The Three are watching: keep away!

Your gondola -- let Zorzi wreathe
A mesh of water weeds about
Its prow, as if he unaware
Had struck some quay or bridge-foot stair!
That I may throw a paper out
As you and he go underneath.
There's Zanze's vigilant taper; safe are we.
Only one minute more to-night with me?
Resume your past self of a month ago!
Be you the bashful gallant, I will be
The lady with the colder breast than snow.
Now bow you, as becomes, nor touch my hand
More than I touch yours when I step to land,
And say, "All thanks, Siora!" -- 
Heart to heart
And lips to lips! Yet once more, ere we part,
Clasp me and make me thine, as mine thou art!

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. It was ordained to be so, sweet [sung text not yet checked]

It was ordained to be so, sweet! -- and best
Comes now, beneath thine eyes, upon thy breast.
Still kiss me! Care not for the cowards! Care
Only to put aside thy beauteous hair
My blood will hurt! The Three, I do not scorn
To death, because they never lived: but I
Have lived indeed, and so -- (yet one more kiss) -- can die!

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]