Invite to Eternity

Song Cycle by Ian Venables (b. 1955)

Word count: 519

1. Born upon an angel's breast [sung text not yet checked]

In crime and enmity they lie
Who sin and tell us love can die,
Who say to us in slander's breath
That love belongs to sin and death.
From heaven it came on angel's wing
To bloom on earth, eternal spring;
In falsehood's enmity they lie
Who sin and tell us love can die.

Twas born upon an angel's breast.
The softest dreams, the sweetest rest,
The brightest sun, the bluest sky,
Are love's own home and canopy.
The thought that cheers this heart of mine
Is that of love; love so divine
They sin who say in slander's breath
That love belongs to sin and death.

The sweetest voice that lips contain,
The sweetest thought that leaves the brain,
The sweetest feeling of the heart--
There's pleasure in its very smart.
The scent of rose and cinnamon
Is not like love remembered on;
In falsehood's enmity they lie
Who sin and tell us love can die.

Authorship

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Liebe kann nicht sterben", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Bertram Kottmann

2. An Invite, to Eternity [sung text checked 1 time]

[Say]1, wilt thou go with me, sweet maid,
Say, maiden, wilt thou go with me
Through the valley-depths of shade,
Of [bright]2 and dark obscurity;
Where the path has lost its way,
Where the sun forgets the day,
Where there's nor [light nor life]3 to see,
Sweet maiden, wilt thou go with me?

Where stones will turn to flooding streams,
Where plains will rise like ocean's waves,
Where life will fade like visioned dreams
And [darkness]4 darken into caves,
Say, maiden, wilt thou go with me
Through this sad non-identity
Where parents live and are forgot,
And sisters live and know us not?

Say, maiden, wilt thou go with me
In this strange death of life to be,
To live in death and be the same,
Without this life or home or name,
At once to be and not to be --
That was and is not -- yet to see
Things pass like shadows, and the sky
Above, below, around us lie?

The land of shadows wilt thou trace,
Nor look nor know each other's face;
The present marred with reason gone,
And past and present both as one?
Say, maiden, can thy life be led
To join the living and the dead?
Then trace thy footsteps on with me:
We are wed to one eternity.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Muhly, Venables.
2 Muhly, Venables: "night"
3 Muhly, Venables: "life nor light"
4 Muhly, Venables: "mountains"

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

3. Evening bells [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

4. I am [sung text not yet checked]

I am: yet what I am none cares or knows,
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes,
They rise and vanish [in]1 oblivious host,
[Like shades in love and death's oblivion lost]2;
And yet I am, [and live with shadows tossed]3

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking [dreams]4,
Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
[But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems;
And e'en the dearest - that I loved the best -]5
Are strange - nay, [rather]6 stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man has never trod,
A place where woman never smiled or wept;
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
[Untroubling and untroubled where I lie]7, -
The grass below - above the vaulted sky.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Muhly: "an"
2 Muhly: "Shadows of life, whose very soul is lost"
3 Muhly: "- I live - though I am toss'd"
4 Muhly: "dream"
5 Muhly: "But the huge shipwreck of my own extreme and all that's dear./ Even those I loved the best"
6 Muhly: "they are"
7 Muhly: "Full of high thoughts, unborn. So let me lie"

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