Five Songs

Song Cycle by Rutland Boughton (1878 - 1960)

Word count: 455

?. Alone [sung text not yet checked]

Winter is white on turf and tree,
And birds are fled;
But summer songsters pipe to me,
And petals spread,
For what I dreamt of secretly
His lips have said!

O 'tis a fine May morn, they say,
And blooms have blown;
But wild and wintry is my day,
My birds make moan;
For he who vowed leaves me to pay
Alone -- alone!

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The emigrant [sung text not yet checked]

Going by Daly's shanty I heard the boys within 
Dancing the Spanish hornpipe to Driscoll's violin, 
I heard the sea-boots shaking the rough planks of the floor, 
But I was going westward, I hadn't heart for more. 

All down the windy village the noise rang in my ears, 
Old sea boots stamping, shuffling, it brought the bitter tears. 
The old tune piped and quavered, the lilts came clear and strong. 
But I was going westward, I couldn't join the song. 

There were the grey stone houses, the night wind blowing keen, 
The hill-sides pale with moonlight, the young corn springing green,
The hearth nooks lit and kindly, with dear friends good to see. 
But I was going westward, and the ship waited me. 

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?. By the blackthorn [sung text not yet checked]

Into the scented woods we'll go
And see the blackthorn swim in snow.
High above, in the budding leaves,
A brooding dove awakes and grieves;

The glades with mingled music stir,
And wildly laughs the woodpecker.
When blackthorn petals pearl the breeze,
There are the twisted hawthorn trees
Thickset with buds, as clear and pale
As golden water or green hail -

As if a storm of rain had stood
Enchanted in the thorny wood,
And, hearing fairy voices call,
Hung poised, forgetting how to fall.

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?. Laugh and be merry [sung text not yet checked]

Laugh and be merry, remember, better the world with a song,
Better the world with a blow in the teeth of a wrong.
Laugh, for the time is brief, a thread the length of a span.
Laugh and be proud to belong to the old proud pageant of man.

Laugh and be merry: remember, in olden time.
God made Heaven and Earth for joy He took in a rhyme,
Made them, and filled them full with the strong red wine of His mirth
The splendid joy of the stars: the joy of the earth.

So we must laugh and drink from the deep blue cup of the sky,
Join the jubilant song of the great stars sweeping by,
Laugh, and battle, and work, and drink of the wine outpoured
In the dear green earth, the sign of the joy of the Lord.

Laugh and be merry together, like brothers akin,
Guesting awhile in the rooms of a beautiful inn,
Glad till the dancing stops, and the lilt of the music ends.
Laugh till the game is played; and be you merry, my friends.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]