Six Poems by Fiona Macleod

Song Cycle by Helen Hopekirk (1856 - 1945)

Word count: 596

?. The bird of Christ [sung text not yet checked]

Holy, Holy, Holy,
Christ upon the Cross:
My little nest was near,
Hidden in the moss.

Holy, Holy, Holy,
Christ was pale and wan:
His eyes beheld me singing
Bron, Bron, mo Bron!

Holy, Holy, Holy,
Come near, O wee brown bird!"
Christ spake, and lo, I lighted
Upon the Living Word.

Holy, Holy, Holy,
I heard the mocking scorn!
But Holy, Holy, Holy,
I sang against a thorn!

Holy, Holy, Holy,
Ah, his brow was bloody:
Holy, Holy, Holy,
All my breast was ruddy.

Holy, Holy, Holy,
Christ's-Bird shalt thou be:
Thus said Mary Virgin
There on Calvary.

Holy, Holy, Holy,
A wee brown bird am I:
But my breast is ruddy
For I saw Christ die.

Holy, Holy, Holy,
By this ruddy feather,
Colum, call thy monks, and
All the birds together.

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?. St. Bride's lullaby [sung text not yet checked]

Oh, Baby Christ, so dear to me,
Sang Briget Bride:
How sweet thou art,
My baby dear,
Heart of my heart!

Heavy her body was with thee,
Mary, beloved of One in Three -- 
Sang Briget Bride -- 
Mary, who bore thee, little lad:
But light her heart was, light and glad
With God's love clad.

Sit on my knee,
Sang Briget Bride:
Sit here
O Baby dear,
Close to my heart, my heart:
For I thy foster-mother am,
My helpless lamb!

O have no fear,
Sang good St. Bride.
None, none,
No fear have I:
So let me cling
Close to thy side
While thou dost sing,
O Briget Bride!

My Lord, my Prince, I sing:
My Baby dear, my King!
Sang Briget Bride.

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?. From the Hills of Dream [sung text not yet checked]

Across the silent stream
    Where the slumber-shadows go,
From the dim blue Hills of Dream
    I have heard the west wind blow.

Who hath seen that fragrant land,
    Who hath seen that unscanned west?
Only the listless hand
    And the unpulsing breast.

But when the west wind blows
    I see moon-lances gleam
Where the Host of Faerie flows
    Athwart the Hills of Dream.

And a strange song I have heard
    By a shadowy stream,
And the singing of a snow-white bird
    On the Hills of Dream.

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?. When the dew is falling [sung text not yet checked]

When the dew is falling
I have heard a calling
Of aerial sweet voices o'er the low green hill;

And when the moon is dying
I have heard a crying
Where the brown burn slippeth thro' the hollows green and still.

And O the sorrow upon me,
The grey grief upon me,
For a voice that whispered once, and now for aye is still:

O heart forsaken, calling
When the dew is falling,
To the one that comes not ever o'er the low green hill.

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?. The lonely hunter [sung text not yet checked]

Green branches, green branches, I see you beckon; I follow!
Sweet is the place you guard, there in the rowan-tree hollow.
There he lies in the darkness, under the frail white flowers,
Heedless at last, in the silence, of these sweet midsummer hours.
But sweeter, it may be, the moss whereon he is sleeping now,
And sweeter the fragrant flowers that may crown his moon-white brow:
And sweeter the shady place deep in an Eden hollow
Wherein he dreams I am with him  --  and, dreaming, whispers, "Follow!"
Green wind from the green-gold branches, what is the song you bring?
What are all songs for me, now, who no more care to sing?

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?. On bonnie birdeen [sung text not yet checked]

On bonnie birdeen,
Sweet-bird of my heart -- 
Tell me, my dear one,
How shall we part?
He calls me, he cries
Who is father to thee:
O birdeen, his eyes
In these blue eyes I see.
Thou art wrought of our love,
Of our joy that was slain:
My birdeen, my dove,
My passion, my pain.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]