Five Lyric Poems

Song Cycle by Howard Morgan (b. 1945)

Word count: 445

?. October [sung text not yet checked]

Across the land a faint blue veil of mist
Seems hung; the woods wear yet arrayment sober
Till frost shall make them flame; silent and whist
The drooping cherry orchards of October
Like mournful pennons hang their shrivelling leaves
Russet and orange: all things now decay;
Long since ye garnered in your autumn sheaves,
And sad the robins pipe at set of day.
  
Now do ye dream of Spring when greening shaws
Confer with the shrewd breezes, and of slopes
Flower-kirtled, and of April, virgin guest;
Days that ye love, despite their windy flaws,
Since they are woven with all joys and hopes
Whereof ye nevermore shall be possessed.

Authorship

Note: first published in Sonnets and Verses, 1909; revised same year and also in 1911.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. A poplar and the moon [sung text not yet checked]

There stood a Poplar, tall and straight;
The fair, round Moon, uprisen late,
Made the long shadow on the grass
A ghostly bridge 'twixt heaven and me.
  But May, with slumbrous nights, must pass;
  And blustering winds will strip the tree.
And I've no magic to express
The moment of that loveliness;
So from these words you'll never guess
The stars and lilies I could see.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Noah [sung text not yet checked]

When old Noah stared across the floods,
Sky and water melted into one
Looking-glass of shifting tides and sun.

Mountain-tops were few: the ship was foul:
All the morn old Noah marvelled greatly
At this weltering world that shone so stately,
Drowning deep the rivers and the plains.
Through the stillness came a rippling breeze;
Noah sighed, remembering the green trees.

Clear along the morning stooped a bird, -- 
Lit beside him with a blossomed sprig.
Earth was saved; and Noah danced a jig.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Goblin revel [sung text not yet checked]

In gold and grey, with fleering looks of sin,
I watch them come; by two, by three, by four,
Advancing slow, with loutings they begin
Their woven measure, widening from the door;
While music-men behind are straddling in
With flutes to brisk their feet across the floor, -- 
And jangled dulcimers, and fiddles thin
That taunt the twirling antic through once more.

They pause, and hushed to whispers, steal away.
With cunning glances; silent go their shoon
On creakless stairs; but far away the dogs
Bark at some lonely farm: and haply they
Have clambered back into the dusky moon
That sinks beyond the marshes loud with frogs.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

First published in Academy, April 1910

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. An old french poet [sung text not yet checked]

When in your sober mood my body have ye laid
In sight and sound of things beloved, woodland and stream,
And the green turf has hidden the poor bones ye deem
No more a close companion with those rhymes we made;

Then, if some bird should pipe, or breezes stir the glade,
Thinking them for the while my voice, so let them seem
A fading message from the misty shores of dream,
Or wheresoever, following Death, my feet have strayed.

Authorship

First published in Academy, June 1910

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]