When lads come home from labour At Abdon under Clee A man would call his neighbour And both would send for me. And where the light in lances Across the mead was laid, There to the dances I fetched my flute and played. Ours were idle pleasures, Yet oh, content we were, The young to wind the measures, The old to heed the air; And I to lift with playing From tree and tower and steep The light delaying, And flute the sun to sleep. The youth toward his fancy Would turn his brow of tan, And Tom would pair with Nancy And Dick step off with Fan; The girl would lift her glances To his, and both be mute: Well went the dances At evening to the flute. Wenlock Edge was umbered, And bright was Abdon Burf, And warm between them slumbered The smooth green miles of turf; Until from grass and clover The upshot beam would fade, And England over Advanced the lofty shade. The lofty shade advances, I fetch my flute and play: Come, lads, and learn the dances And praise the tune to-day. To-morrow, more's the pity, Away we both must hie, To air the ditty, And to earth I.
Songs of the Countryside
Song Cycle by Daniel Gregory Mason (1873 - 1953)
?. Fancy's knell  [sung text not yet checked]
- by Alfred Edward Housman (1859 - 1936), "Fancy's knell", appears in Last Poems, no. 41, first published 1922 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
See other settings of this text.Researcher for this text: Ted Perry
?. The deserter  [sung text not yet checked]
"What sound awakened me, I wonder, For now 'tis dumb." "Wheels on the road most like, or thunder: Lie down; 'twas not the drum." Toil at sea and two in haven And trouble far; Fly, crow, away, and follow, raven, And all that croaks for war. "Hark, I heard the bugle crying, And where am I? My friends are up and dressed and dying, And I will dress and die." "Oh love is rare and trouble plenty And carrion cheap, And daylight dear at four-and-twenty: Lie down again and sleep." "Reach me my belt and leave your prattle: Your hour is gone; But my day is the day of battle, And that comes dawning on. "They mow the field of man in season: Farewell, my fair, And, call it truth or call it treason, Farewell the vows that were." "Ay, false heart, forsake me lightly: 'Tis like the brave. They find no bed to joy in rightly Before they find the grave. "Their love is for their own undoing, And east and west They scour about the world a-wooing The bullet to their breast. "Sail away the ocean over, Oh sail away, And lie there with your leaden lover For ever and a day."
- by Alfred Edward Housman (1859 - 1936), "The deserter", appears in Last Poems, no. 13, first published 1922 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
See other settings of this text.Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
?. In valleys green and still  [sung text not yet checked]
In valleys green and still Where lovers wander maying, They hear from over hill A music playing. Behind the drum and fife, Past [hawthorn wood]1 and hollow, Through earth and out of life, The soldiers follow. The soldier's is the trade: In any wind or weather He steals the heart of maid And man together. The lover and his lass Beneath the hawthorn lying Have heard the soldiers pass, And both are sighing. And down the distance they, With dying note and swelling, Walk the resounding way To the still dwelling.
- by Alfred Edward Housman (1859 - 1936), no title, appears in Last Poems, no. 7, first published 1922 [author's text checked 2 times against a primary source]
See other settings of this text.View original text (without footnotes)
1 in some editions of Housman, this is "hawthornwood"
Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Mike Pearson