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A Dirge of Four Cities

Song Cycle by Marshall H. Barnes (b. 1921)

?. Falias [sung text not yet checked]

In the frost-grown city of Falias lit by the falling stars
I have seen the ravens flying like banners of old wars --
I have seen the snow-white ravens amid the ice-green spires
Seeking the long-lost havens of all old lost desires.

O winged desire and broken, once nested in my heart,
Canst thou, there, give a token, that, even now, thou art?
From bitter war defeated thou too hadst flight afar,
When all my joy was cheated ere set of Morning Star.

Call loud; O ancient Moirias, who dwellest in that place,
Tell me if lost in Falias my old desire hath grace?
If now a snow-white raven it haunts the silent spires
For the old impossible haven 'mid the old auroral fires?

Authorship:

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Murias [sung text not yet checked]

In the sunken city of Murias
A golden Image dwells:
The sea-song of the trampling waves
Is as muffled bells
Where He dwells,
In the city of Murias.
In the sunken city of Murias
A golden Image gleams:
The loud noise of the moving seas
Is as woven beams
Where He dreams,
In the city of Murias.
In the sunken city of Murias,
Deep, deep beneath the sea
The Image sits and hears Time break
The heart I gave to thee
And thou to me,
In the city of Murias.
In the city of Murias,
Long, oh, so long ago,
Our souls were wed when the world was young;
Are we old now, that we know
This silent woe
In the city of Murias?
In the sunken city of Murias
A graven Image dwells:
The sound of our little sobbing prayer
Is as muffled bells
Where He dwells,
In the city of Murias.

Authorship:

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Finias [sung text not yet checked]

In the torch-lit city of Finias 
that flames on the brow of the South
The Spear that divideth the heart
is held in a brazen mouth --

Arias the flame-white keeps it,
he whose laughter is heard
Where never a man has wandered, 
where never a god has stirred.

High kings have sought it, 
great queens have sought it, poets have dreamed --
And ever louder and louder 
the flame-white laughter of Arias streamed.

For kingdoms shaken and queens forsaken 
and high hopes starved in their drouth,
These are the torches ablaze 
on the walls of Finias that lightens the South.

Forbear, O Arias, forbear, forbear -- 
lift not the dreadful Spear --
I had but dreamed of thee, Finias, Finias . . .
now I am stricken . . . now I am here!

Authorship:

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Gorias [sung text not yet checked]

In Gorias are gems,
And pale gold,
Shining diadems
Gathered of old
From the long fragrant hair
Of dead beautiful queens.

There the reaper gleans
Vast opals of white air:
The dawn leans
Upon emerald there:
Out of the dust of kings
The sunrise lifts a cloud of shimmering wings.

In Gorias of the East
My love was born,
Erias dowered with a sword
And the treasures of the Morn --
But now all the red gems
And the pale gold
Are as the trampled diadems
Of the queens of old
In Gorias the pale-gold.

Have I once heard the least,
But the least breath, again ?
No: my love is no more fain
Of Gorias of the East.
Erias hath sheathed this sword
Long, long ago.
My heart is old . . .
Though in Gorias are gems
And pale gold.

Authorship:

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Total word count: 548