The Ludlow Cycle

Song Cycle by Leslie Russell

Word count: 560

?. 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.

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1 in some editions of Housman, this is "hawthornwood"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Mike Pearson

?. Oh stay at home, my lad, and plough [sung text not yet checked]

Oh stay at home, my lad, and plough
  The land and not the sea,
And leave the soldiers at their drill,
And all about the idle hill
  Shepherd your sheep with me.

Oh stay with company and mirth
  And daylight and the air;
Too full already is the grave
Of fellows that were good and brave
  And died because they were.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Now dreary dawns the eastern light [sung text not yet checked]

Now dreary dawns the eastern light,
  And fall of eve is drear,
And cold the poor man lies at night,
  And so goes out the year.
 
Little is the luck I've had,
  And oh, 'tis comfort small
To think that many another lad
  Has had no luck at all.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. When I would muse in boyhood [sung text not yet checked]

When I would muse in boyhood
  The wild green woods among,
And nurse resolves and fancies
  Because the world was young,
It was not foes to conquer,
  Nor sweethearts to be kind,
But it was friends to die for
  That I would seek and find.

I sought them far and found them,
  The sure, the straight, the brave,
The hearts I lost my own to,
  The souls I could not save.
They braced their belts about them,
  They crossed in ships the sea,
They sought and found six feet of ground,
  And there they died for me.

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

?. The half-moon westers low, my love [sung text not yet checked]

The half-moon westers low, my love,
And the wind brings up the rain;
And wide apart we lie, my love,
And seas between the twain.

I know not if it rains, my love,
In the land where you do lie;
And oh, so sound you sleep, my love.
You know no more than I.

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

?. When first my way to fair I took [sung text not yet checked]

When first my way to fair I took
  Few pence in purse had I,
And long I used to stand and look
  At things I could not buy.

Now times are altered: if I care
  To buy a thing, I can;
The pence are here and here's the fair,
  But where's the lost young man?

-- To think that two and two are four
  And neither five nor three
The heart of man has long been sore
  And long 'tis like to be.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The night is freezing fast [sung text not yet checked]

The night is freezing fast,
  To-morrow comes December;
    And winterfalls of old
Are with me from the past;
  And chiefly I remember
    How Dick would hate the cold.
 
Fall, winter, fall; for he,
  Prompt hand and headpiece clever,
    Has woven a winter robe,
And made of earth and sea
  His overcoat for ever,
    And wears the turning globe.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Yonder see the morning blink [sung text not yet checked]

Yonder see the morning blink:
  The sun is up, and up must I,
To wash and dress and eat and drink
And look at things and talk and think
  And work, and God knows why.
 
Oh often have I washed and dressed
  And what's to show for all my pain?
Let me lie abed and rest:
Ten thousand times I've done my best
  And all's to do again.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]