The Pity of Love

Song Cycle by Raymond Warren (b. 1928)

Word count: 497

?. Brown penny [sung text not yet checked]

I whispered, "I am too young,"
And then, "I am old enough;"
Wherefore I threw a penny
To find out if I might love.

"Go and love, go and love, young man,
If the lady be young and fair."
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
I am looped in the loops of her hair.

O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love.

Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
One cannot begin it too soon.

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Note: revised after 1910

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The mask [sung text not yet checked]

"Put off that mask of burning gold	 
With emerald eyes."
"O no, my dear, you make so bold
To find if hearts be wild and wise,
And yet not cold."
  
"I would but find what's there to find,
Love or deceit."
"It was the mask engaged your mind,
And after set your heart to beat,
Not what's behind."
  
"But lest you are my enemy,
I must enquire."
"O no, my dear, let all that be,
What matter, so there is but fire
In you, in me?"

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. O do not love too long [sung text not yet checked]

[Sweetheart, do]1 not love too long:
I loved long and long, 
And grew to be out of fashion
Like an old song. 

All through the years of our youth
Neither could have known 
Their own thought from the other's,
We were so much at one. 

But O, in a minute [she]2 changed --
O do not love too long, 
Or [you will]3 grow out of fashion
Like an old song.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Oh, n'aime pas trop longtemps", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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Confirmed with W. B. Yeats, Later Poems, Macmillan and Co., London, 1926, page 86.

1 Wilkinson: "O do"
2 Rorem: "he"
3 Wilkinson: "you'll"

Researcher for this text: John Versmoren

?. The pity of love [sung text not yet checked]

A pity beyond all telling
Is hid in the heart of love:
The [folk]1 who are buying and selling,
The clouds on their journey above,
The cold, wet winds ever blowing,
And the shadowy hazel grove
Where mouse-grey waters are flowing
Threaten the head that I love.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La pitié de l'amour", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , "Trua an Ghrá", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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1 Grill: "folks"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]

?. When you are old [sung text not yet checked]

When you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false [or]1 true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead 
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , "Wenn Du alt bist", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HUN Hungarian (Magyar) (Tamás Rédey) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Quando ormai sarai vecchia, e grigia e sonnolenta", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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Note: this poem is often described as a free adaptation of Ronsard's Quand vous serez bien vieille.

1 Bachlund: "and"

Confirmed with The Poetical Works of William B. Yeats in two volumes, volume 1 : Lyrical Poems, The Macmillan Company, New York and London, 1906, page 179.


Researcher for this text: Garth Baxter

?. For Anne Gregory [sung text not yet checked]

"Never shall a young man,
Thrown into despair
By those great honey-coloured
Ramparts at your ear,
Love you for yourself alone
And not your yellow hair."
"But I can get a hair-dye
And set such colour there,
Brown, or black, or carrot,
That young men in despair
May love me for myself alone
And not my yellow hair.'
"I heard an old religious man
But yesternight declare
That he had found a text to prove
That only God, my dear,
Could love you for yourself alone
And not your yellow hair." 

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First published in Spectator, December 1932

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]