Four XVIIth century poems

Song Cycle by Ernst Alexander 'Sas' Bunge (1924 - 1980)

Word count: 421

1. Orpheus with his lute [sung text not yet checked]

Orpheus with his lute made trees,
And the mountain-tops that freeze,
Bow themselves, when he did sing:	

To his music, plants and flowers
Ever [sprung]1; as sun and showers
There had made a lasting spring.

Everything that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,
Hung their heads, and then lay by.

In sweet music is such art:
Killing care and grief of heart
Fall asleep, or, hearing, die.

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Quoted in Shakespeare's Henry VIII, Act III scene 1
1 Greene: "rose"; Blitzstein: "sprang"

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

2. Go, lovely rose [sung text not yet checked]

Go, lovely Rose! --
Tell her, that wastes her time and me,
  That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that's young,
  And shuns to have her graces spied
That hadst thou sprung
  In deserts, where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth
  Of beauty from the light retir'd;
Bid her come forth,
  Suffer herself to be [desir'd]1,
And not blush so to be admir'd.

Then die! -- that she
  The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee:
  How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair!

Yet though thou fade,
From thy dead leaves let fragrance rise;
And teach the maid
That goodness time's rude hand defies;
That virtue lives when beauty dies.

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

  • SPA Spanish (Español) (José Miguel Llata) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
See also Ezra Pound's Envoi.

1 Attwood: "admir'd" [possibly a mistake]

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

3. Never weather-beaten sail [sung text not yet checked]

Never weather-beaten sail more willing bent to shore.
Never tired pilgrim's limbs affected slumber more,
Than my wearied sprite now longs to fly out of my troubled breast:
O come quickly, sweetest Lord, and take my soul to rest.

Ever blooming are the joys of Heaven's high Paradise.
Cold age deafs not there our ears nor vapour dims our eyes:
Glory there the sun outshines whose beams the blessed only see:
O come quickly, glorious Lord, and raise my sprite to thee!

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. The hag is astride [sung text not yet checked]

The Hag is astride,
This night for to ride;
The Devill and shee together;
Through thick, and through thin,
Now out, and then in,
Though ne'er so foule be the weather.

A Thorn or a Burr
She tkes for a Spurre:
With a lash of a Bramble
She rides now,
Through Brakes and through Bryars,
O're Ditches, and Mires,
She followes the Spirit that guides now.

No Beast, for his food,
Dares now range the wood;
But husht in his laire
He lies lurking:
While mischeifs, by these,
On Land and on Seas,
At noone of Night are a working.

The storme will arise,
And trouble the skies;
This night and more for the wonder,
The ghost from the Tomb
Affrighted shall come,
Cal'd out by the clap of the Thunder.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Lidy van Noordenburg) , copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]