Songs from English Poets

Song Cycle by Joseph W. Baber (b. 1937)

Word count: 282

?. Fare well [sung text not yet checked]

When I lie where shades of darkness
Shall no more assail mine eyes,
Nor the rain make lamentation
    When the wind sighs; 
How will fare the world whose wonder
Was the very proof of me?
Memory fades, must the remembered
    Perishing be?

Oh, when this my dust surrenders
Hand, foot, lip, to dust again,
May these loved and loving faces
    Please other men! 
May the rusting harvest hedgerow
Still the Traveller's Joy entwine,
And as happy children gather
    Posies once mine.

Look thy last on all things lovely,
Every hour. Let no night
Seal thy sense in deathly slumber
    Till to delight 
Thou have paid thy utmost blessing;
Since that all things thou wouldst praise
Beauty took from those who loved them
    In other days.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. On the idle hill of summer [sung text not yet checked]

On the idle hill of summer,
Sleepy with the flow of streams,
Far I hear the steady drummer
Drumming like a noise in dreams.

Far and near and low and louder,
On the roads of earth go by,
Dear to friends and food for powder,
Soldiers marching, all to die.

East and west on fields forgotten
Bleach the bones of comrades slain,
Lovely lads and dead and rotten;
None that go return again.

Far the calling bugles hollo,
High the screaming fife replies,
Gay the files of scarlet follow:
Woman bore me, I will rise.

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?. In Time of "The Breaking of Nations" [sung text not yet checked]

Only a man harrowing clods
In a slow silent walk
With an old horse that stumbles and nods
Half asleep as they stalk.

Only thin smoke without flame
From the heaps of couch-grass1;
Yet this will go onward the same
Though Dynasties pass.

Yonder a maid and her wight2
Come whispering by:
War's annals will cloud into night
Ere their story die.

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

View original text (without footnotes)
First published in Saturday Review, January, 1916
1 couch-grass: a type of weed.
2 wight: man.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]