Stanzas for Music

Song Cycle by Robert Owens (1925 - 2017)

Word count: 422

1. Stanzas for music [sung text not yet checked]

There be none of Beauty's daughters
  With a magic like thee;
And like music on the waters
  Is thy sweet voice to me:
When, as if its sound were causing
The [charmèd]1 ocean's pausing,
The waves lie still and gleaming,
And the lull'd winds seem dreaming:

And the midnight moon is weaving
  Her bright chain o'er the deep;
Whose breast is gently heaving
  As an infant's asleep:
So the spirit bows before thee,
To listen and adore thee;
With a full but soft emotion,
Like the swell of Summer's ocean.

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Sloky pro hudbu"
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Alexis Paulin Pâris) , "Stances à mettre en musique"
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Fra tutte le più belle", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Mendelssohn: "charm'd"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. When we two parted [sung text not yet checked]

When we two parted
    In silence and tears, 
Half broken-hearted
    To sever for years, 
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
    Colder thy kiss; 
Truly that hour foretold
    Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
    Sunk chill on my brow -- 
It felt like the warning
    Of what I feel now. 
Thy vows are all broken,
    And light is thy fame; 
I hear thy name spoken,
    And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
    A knell to mine ear; 
A shudder comes o'er me --
    Why wert thou so dear? 
They know not I knew thee,
    Who knew thee too well:-- 
Long, long shall I rue thee,
    Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met --
    In silence I grieve 
That thy heart could forget,
    Thy spirit deceive. 
If I should meet thee
    After long years, 
How should I greet thee? --
    With silence and tears.

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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Oh! snatched away in beauty's bloom [sung text checked 1 time]

Oh! snatched away in beauty's bloom,
On thee shall press no ponderous tomb;
   But on thy turf shall roses rear
   Their leaves, the earliest of the year;
And the wild cypress wave in tender gloom:

And oft by yon blue gushing stream
   Shall sorrow lean her drooping head,
And feed deep thought with many a dream,
   And lingering pause and lightly tread;
   Fond wretch! as if her step disturbed the dead!

Away! we know that tears are vain,
   That death nor heeds nor hears distress:
Will this unteach us to complain?
   Or make one mourner weep the less?
And thou -- who tell'st me to forget,
Thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. So we'll go no more a-roving [sung text not yet checked]

So we'll go no more a-roving
  So late into the night,
Though the heart be [still]1 as loving,
  And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears [the]2 sheath,
  And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart [must pause to breathe]3,
  And Love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
  And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
  By the light of the moon.

Authorship

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , "So werden wir nicht mehr schweifen", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
Included in a letter to Thomas Moore on February 28, 1817
See also Henley's "We'll go no more a-roving"
1 Armstrong, White: "ne'er"
2 Chávez: "its"
3 Armstrong, White: "itself must pause"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]