A Shropshire Lad

Song Cycle by Mervyn, Lord Horder, the Second Baron of Ashford (1910 - 1998)

Word count: 567

1. Loveliest of trees [sung text not yet checked]

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy [springs]1 a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the [woodlands]2 I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Authorship

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Patricia Dillard Eguchi) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HEB Hebrew (עברית) (Max Mader) , "היפה בעצים", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Manton: "years"
2 Steele: "woodland"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Goldcups [sung text not yet checked]

Oh see how thick the goldcup flowers
Are lying in field and lane,
With dandelions to tell the hours
That never are told again.
Oh may I squire you round the meads
And pick you posies gay?
- 'Twill do no harm to take my arm.
"You may, young man, you may."

Ah, spring was sent for lass and lad,
'Tis now the blood runs gold,
And man and maid had best be glad
Before the world is old.
What flowers to-day may flower to-morrow,
But never as good as new.
- Suppose I wound my arm right round - 
"'Tis true, young man, 'tis true."

Some lads there are, 'tis shame to say,
That only court to thieve,
And once they bear the bloom away
'Tis little enough they leave.
Then keep your heart for men like me
And safe from trustless chaps.
My love is true and all for you.
"Perhaps, young man, perhaps."

Oh, look in my eyes, then, can you doubt?
- Why, 'tis a mile from town.
How green the grass is all about!
We might as well sit down.
- Ah, life, what is it but a flower?
Why must true lovers sigh?
Be kind, have pity, my own, my pretty, - 
"Good-bye, young man, good-bye."

Authorship

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

3. The lent lily [sung text checked 1 time]

'Tis spring; come out to ramble
The hilly brakes around,
For under thorn and bramble
About the hollow ground
The primroses are found.

And there's the windflower chilly
With all the winds at play,
And there's the Lenten lily
That has not long to stay
And dies on Easter Day.

And since till girls go maying
You find the primrose still,
And find the windflower playing
With every wind at will,
But not the daffodil.

Bring baskets now, and sally
Upon the spring's array,
And bear from hill and valley
The daffodil away
That dies on Easter Day.

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

4. When I was one-and-twenty [sung text not yet checked]

When I was one-and-twenty
 I heard [a wise man]1 say,
"Give crowns and pounds and guineas
 But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
 But keep your fancy free."
But I was one-and-twenty,
 No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
 I heard him say again,
"The heart out of the bosom
 Was never given in vain;
'Tis paid with sighs a plenty
 And sold for endless rue."
And I am two-and-twenty,
 And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.

Authorship

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Patricia Dillard Eguchi) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , "Als ich war einundzwanzig", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HEB Hebrew (עברית) (Max Mader) , "כאשר הייתי בן עשרים ואחת", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Steele: "an old man"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. White in the moon the long road lies [sung text checked 1 time]

White in the moon the long road lies,
 The moon stands blank above;
White in the moon the long road lies
 That leads me from my love.
 
Still hangs the hedge without a gust,
 Still, still the shadows stay:
My feet upon the moonlit dust
 Pursue the ceaseless way.
 
The world is round, so travellers tell,
 And straight though reach the track,
Trudge on, trudge on, 'twill all be well,
 The way will guide one back.
 
But ere the circle homeward hies
 Far, far must it remove:
White in the moon the long road lies
 That leads me from my love.

Authorship

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry