Two songs

Song Cycle by Ned Rorem (b. 1923)

Word count: 75

1. Little elegy [sung text checked 1 time]

[Withouten]1 you
No rose can grow;
No leaf be green
If never seen
Your sweetest face;
No bird have grace
Or [power]2 to sing;
Or anything
Be kind, or fair,
And you nowhere.


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

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , "Klagelied", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Rorem: "Without"
2 Duke, Howe: "pow'r"

Research team for this text: Ted Perry , Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]

2. On a singing girl [sung text checked 1 time]

Musa of the sea-blue eyes,
Silver nightingale alone
In a little coffin lies;
A stone beneath a stone.
She, whose song we loved the best,
Is voiceless in a sudden Night:
On your light limbs, O loveliest,
May the dust be light!


Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson