Twenty-one songs

by (Henry) Walford Davies, Sir (1869 - 1941)

. Lord, my heart's desire 

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Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Set by by (Henry) Walford Davies, Sir (1869 - 1941), 1921, published 1931 [ voice and piano ]

1. Arkendale [sung text not yet checked]

Do roses grow in Arkendale
And honeysuckles bloom?
And are the banks of Arkendale
Aflame with gorse and broom?
Oh can you lie in Arkendale
Among the purple ling
And breathe the scents of Arkendale
And hear the thrushes sing?

Oh do they laugh in Arkendale
And love each other well?
And is there peace in Arkendale
More deep than tongue can tell?
Do folk who live at Arkendale
Work hard at honest toil
To make fair homes in Arkendale
And till the friendly soil?

The road that leads to Arkendale
Is one I've never been,
The finger post to Arkendale
Is all I've ever seen.
I dare not go to Arkendale
Though fair its sweet name seems,
Lest I should find an Arkendale
Less lovely than my dreams,
Lest I should find an Arkendale
Less lovely than my dreams.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. The birds [sung text not yet checked]

When Jesus Christ was four years old,
The angels brought Him toys of gold,
Which no man ever had bought or sold.

And yet with these He would not play.
He made Him small fowl out of clay,
And blessed them till they flew away.

Tu creasti, Domine.1
Jesus Christ, Thou child so wise, 
Bless mine hands and fill mine eyes,
And bring my soul to Paradise.

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1 Translation: Thou hast created them, O Lord.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. A dirge 

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  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author ( Webster )

4. Follow your saint [sung text not yet checked]

Follow your saint follow with accents sweet,
Haste you sad noates fall at her flying feete,
There wrapt in cloud of sorrow pitie move,
And tell the ravisher of my soule, I perish for her love.
But if she scorns my never ceasing paine,
Then burst with sighing in her sight, and nere returne againe.

All that I soong still to her praise did tend,
Still she was first, still she my sings did end,
Yet she my love, and Musicke both does flie,
The Musicke that her Eccho is, and bauties simpathies;
Then let my Noates pursue her scornfull flight,
It shall suffice, that thex were breath'd and dyed for her delight.

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Researcher for this text: Linda Godry

5. He hears with gladdened heart the thunder [sung text not yet checked]

He hears with gladdened heart the thunder
Peal, and loves the falling dew;
He knows the earth above and under --
Sits and is content to view.

He sits beside the dying ember,
God for hope and man for friend,
Content to see, glad to remember,
Expectant of the certain end.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. I love all beauteous things [sung text not yet checked]

I love all beauteous things, 
I seek and adore them; 
God hath no better praise, 
And man in his hasty days 
Is honoured for them.

I too will something make
And joy in the making! 
Altho' tomorrow it seem' 
Like the empty words of a dream
Remembered, on waking. 

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. In the highlands [sung text not yet checked]

In the [highlands, in]1 the country places,	
Where the old plain men have rosy faces,	
    And the young fair maidens
        Quiet eyes;
Where essential silence cheers and blesses,
And for ever in the hill-recesses
    Her more lovely music
        Broods and dies —

O to mount again where erst I haunted;
Where the old red hills are bird-enchanted,
    And the low green meadows
        Bright with sward;
And when even dies, the million-tinted,
And the night has come, and planets glinted,
    Lo, the valley hollow
        Lamp-bestarr'd!

O to dream, O to awake and wander
There, and with delight to take and render,
    Through the trance of silence,
        Quiet breath!
Lo! for there, among the flowers and grasses,
Only the mightier movement sounds and passes;
    Only winds and rivers,
        Life and death.

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View original text (without footnotes)
First published in the Pall Mall Gazette, December 1894

Confirmed with Quiller-Couch, Arthur Thomas, Sir. The Oxford Book of English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1919, [c1901]; Bartleby.com, 1999. www.bartleby.com/101/847.html.

1 Steele: "highlands and"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. It is not growing like a tree [sung text not yet checked]

It is not growing like a tree
In bulk, doth make man better be;
Or standing long an oak, three-hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald and sere.
A lily of a day,
Is fairer far in May,
Although it droop and die that night,
It was the plant and flow'r of light.
In small proportions we just beauties see;
And in short measures, life may perfect be.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

9. My Joy, my Life, my Crown [sung text not yet checked]

          My Joy, my Life, my Crown !
    My heart was meaning all the day,
          Somewhat it fain would say,
And still it runneth muttering up and down
With only this, My Joy, my Life, my Crown !

          Yet slight not those few words ;
    If truly said, they may take part
          Among the best in art :
The fineness which a hymn or psalm affords
Is, when the soul unto the lines accord.

          He who craves all the mind,
    And all the soul, and strength, and time,
          If the words only rhyme,
Justly complains that somewhat is behind
To make His verse, or write a hymn in kind.

          Whereas if the heart be moved,
    Although the verse be somewhat scant,
          God doth supply the want ;
As when the heart says, sighing to be approved,
“O, could I love !” and stops, God writeth, “Loved.”

Authorship:

Confirmed with The Poems of George Herbert, ed. by Ernest Rhys, London: Walter Scott, 1886, page 175.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

11. Never weather‑beaten sail [sung text not yet checked]

Never weather-beaten sail more willing bent to shore.
Never tired pilgrim's limbs affected slumber more,
Than my wearied sprite now longs to fly out of my troubled breast:
O come quickly, sweetest Lord, and take my soul to rest.

Ever blooming are the joys of Heaven's high Paradise.
Cold age deafs not there our ears nor vapour dims our eyes:
Glory there the sun outshines whose beams the blessed only see:
O come quickly, glorious Lord, and raise my sprite to thee!

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

12. Orpheus with his lute [sung text not yet checked]

Orpheus with his lute made trees,
And the mountain-tops that freeze,
Bow themselves, when he did sing:	

To his music, plants and flowers
Ever [sprung]1; as sun and showers
There had made a lasting spring.

Everything that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,
Hung their heads, and then lay by.

In sweet music is such art:
Killing care and grief of heart
Fall asleep, or, hearing, die.

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View original text (without footnotes)
Quoted in Shakespeare's Henry VIII, Act III scene 1
1 Greene: "rose"; Blitzstein: "sprang"

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

14. Peace waits among the hills [sung text not yet checked]

Peace waits among the hills;
I have drunk peace,
Here, where the blue air fills
The great cup of the hills,
And fills with peace.

Between the earth and sky,
I have seen the earth
Like a dark cloud go by,
And fade out of the sky;
There was no more earth.

Here, where the Holy Graal
Brought secret light
Once, from beyond the veil,
I, seeing no Holy graal,
See divine light.

Light fills the hills with God,
Wind with his breath,
And here, in his abode,
Light, wind, and air praise God,
And this poor breath.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

15. Requiem [sung text not yet checked]

Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie;
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

Here may the winds about me blow,
Here the sea may come and go
Here lies peace  forevermo'
And the heart for aye shall be still.

This be the verse you grave for me:
"Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill."

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , "Grabschrift", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Requiem", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Note: Steele changes "longed" to "long'd" in the last stanza.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

16. Nod [sung text not yet checked]

Softly along the road of evening,	 
    In a twilight dim [with]1 rose,	 
Wrinkled with age, and drenched with dew	 
    Old Nod, the shepherd, goes.	 
  
His drowsy flock streams on before him,	
    Their fleeces charged with gold,	 
To where the sun's last beam leans low	 
    On Nod the shepherd's fold.	 
  
The hedge is quick and green with briar,	 
    From their sand the conies creep;
And all the birds that fly in heaven	 
    Flock singing home to sleep.	 
  
His lambs outnumber a noon's roses,	 
    Yet, when night's shadows fall,	 
His blind old sheep-dog, Slumber-soon,
    Misses not one of all.	 
  
His are the quiet steeps of dreamland,	 
    The waters of no-more-pain;	 
His ram's bell rings 'neath an arch of stars,	 
    "Rest, rest, and rest again."

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1 Harmati: "and" (may be an error in New Songs and New Voices score)

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]

17. Song of the road 

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18. Sweet content [sung text not yet checked]

Art thou poor, yet hast thou golden slumbers:
  O sweet content!
Art thou rich yet is thy mind perplexed,
  O punishment.
Dost thou laugh to see how fools are vexed,
To add to golden numbers, golden numbers.
  O sweet content, etc.

[Work]1 work apace, apace, apace;
Honest labor bears a lovely face;
Then hey nonny, hey nonny: hey nonny, nonny.

Canst drink the waters of the crisped spring,
  O sweet content!
Swim'st thou in wealth, yet sink'st in thine own tears,
  O punishment.
Then he [that]2 patiently wants, burden bears,
No burden bears, but is a King, a King.
  O sweet content, etc.

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Confirmed with Henry Chettle and Thomas Dekker, Patient Grissil, London, 1632. Modernized spelling.

1 Beach: "Then work"
2 Beach: "who"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

19. Tune thy music to thy heart [sung text not yet checked]

    Tune thy Musicke to thy hart,
Sing thy ioy with thankes, and so thy sorrow :
    Though Devotion needes not Art,
Sometimes of the poore the rich may borrow.

    Striue not yet for curious wayes :
Concord pleaseth more, the lesse 'tis strained ;
    Zeale affects not outward prayse,
Onely striues to show a loue vnfained.

    Loue can wondrous things affect,
Sweetest Sacrifice, all wrath appeasing ;
    Loue the highest doth respect ;
Loue alone to him is euer pleasing.

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Modernized spelling version follows:

 Tune thy music to thy heart;
 Sing thy joy with thanks, and so thy sorrow.
 Though devotion needs not art,
 Sometime of the poor the rich may borrow.

 Strive not yet for curious ways;
 Concord pleaseth more the less 'tis strained.
 Zeal affects not outward praise,
 Only strives to show a love unfeigned.

 Love can wondrous things effect,
 Sweetest sacrifice all wrath appeasing.
 Love the Highest doth respect,
 Love alone to Him is ever pleasing.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

20. Up in the morning early [sung text not yet checked]

Cauld blaws the wind frae east to west,
  The drift is driving sairly,
Sae loud and shrill 's I hear the blast —
  I'm sure it 's winter fairly !

Refrain :
 Up in the morning 's no for me,
  Up in the morning early !
 When a' the hills are cover'd wi' snaw,
  I'm sure it is winter fairly.

The birds sit chittering in the thorn,
  A' day they fare but sparely;
And lang 's the night frae e'en to morn —
  I'm sure it's winter fairly.
Refrain

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  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Se lever de bon matin", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Confirmed with The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Burns, Cambridge edition, Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1897, page 206.


Researcher for this text: Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]

21. The vagabond [sung text not yet checked]

Give to me the life I love,
Let the lave go by me,
Give the jolly heaven above
And the byway nigh me.
Bed in the bush with stars to see,
Bread I dip in the river -
There's the life for a man like me,
There's the life for ever.

Let the blow fall soon or late,
Let what will be o'er me;
Give the face of earth around
And the road before me.
Wealth I seek not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I seek, the heaven above
And the road below me.

Or let autumn fall on me
Where afield I linger,
Silencing the bird on tree,
Biting the blue finger.
White as meal the frosty field -
Warm the fireside haven -
Not to autumn will I yield,
Not to winter even!

Let the blow fall soon or late,
Let what will be o'er me;
Give the face of earth around,
And the road before me.
Wealth I [ask]1 not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I ask, the heaven above
And the road below me.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Il vagabondo", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with The Complete Poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson: A Child's Garden of Verses, e-artnow, 2015 (via Google Books).

Note: "lave" = "that which is left"
1 Dunhill: "seek"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

22. Our birth is but a sleep [sung text not yet checked]

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
            To me did seem
        Apparell'd in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.      
It is not now as it hath been of yore; -- 
        Turn wheresoe'er I may,
            By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

        The rainbow comes and goes, 
        And lovely is the rose;
        The moon doth with delight
    Look round her when the heavens are bare;
        Waters on a starry night
        Are beautiful and fair; 
    The sunshine is a glorious birth;
    But yet I know, where'er I go,
That there hath pass'd away a glory from the earth.

Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
    And while the young lambs bound 
        As to the tabor's sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
        And I again am strong.
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep; --
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong:
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng,
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
        And all the earth is gay;
            Land and sea 
    Give themselves up to jollity,
        And with the heart of May
    Doth every beast keep holiday; -- 
            Thou child of joy,
Shout round me; let me hear thy shouts, thou happy Shepherd boy! 

Ye blessed creatures, I have heard the call
    Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
    My heart is at your festival,
    My head hath its coronal, 
The fullness of your bliss, I feel -- I feel it all.
        O evil day! if I were sullen
        While [Earth]1 herself is adorning
            This sweet May morning;
        And the children are [pulling]2
            On every side,
        In a thousand valleys far and wide,
        Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,
And the babe leaps up on his mother's arm: -- 
        I hear, I hear, with joy I hear! 
         -- But there's a tree, of many, one,
A single field which I have look'd upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone:
            The pansy at my feet
            Doth the same tale repeat: 
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
        Hath had elsewhere its setting 
            And cometh from afar;
        Not in entire forgetfulness,
        And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
            From God, who is our home: 
[Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
            Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
            He sees it in his joy; 
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
    Must travel, still is Nature's priest,
        And by the vision splendid
        Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away, 
And fade into the light of common day.]3

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
And, even with something of a mother's mind
            And no unworthy aim, 
        The homely nurse doth all she can
To make her foster-child, her inmate, Man,
            Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.

Behold the Child among his new-born blisses, 
A six years' darling of a pigmy size!
See, where 'mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,
With light upon him from his father's eyes!
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart, 
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learn'd art;
        A wedding or a festival,
        A mourning or a funeral;
            And this hath now his heart, 
        And unto this he frames his song:
            Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
        But it will not be long
        Ere this be thrown aside,
        And with new joy and pride
The little actor cons another part;
Filling from time to time his "humorous stage"
With all the Persons, down to palsied Age,
That Life brings with her in her equipage;
        As if his whole vocation
        Were endless imitation.

Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
        Thy soul's immensity;
Thou best philosopher, who yet dost keep
Thy heritage, thou eye among the blind,
That, deaf and silent, read'st the eternal deep,
Haunted for ever by the eternal Mind, -- 
        Mighty Prophet! Seer blest!
        On whom those truths do rest
Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;
Thou, over whom thy immortality
Broods like the day, a master o'er a slave,
A Presence which is not to be put by;
        To whom the grave
Is but a lonely bed without the sense or sight
        Of day or the warm light,
A place of thought where we in waiting lie;
Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might
Of heaven-born freedom on thy being's height,
Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke
The years to bring the inevitable yoke,
Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?
Full soon thy soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!

        O joy! that in our embers
          Is something that doth live;
        That Nature yet remembers
          What was so fugitive!
[The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest,
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast: -- 
        Not for these I raise
        The song of thanks and praise;
    But for those obstinate questionings
    Of sense and outward things,
    Fallings from us, vanishings;
    Blank misgivings of a creature
Moving about in worlds not realized,
High instincts, before which our mortal nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised:
    But for those first affections,]3
    Those shadowy recollections,
        Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain-light of all our [day]4,
Are yet [a]5 master-light of all our seeing;
    Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
            To perish never;
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
            [Nor man nor boy,]3
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
    Hence, in a season of calm weather,
        Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
            Which brought us hither;
        Can in a moment travel thither -- 
[And see the children sport upon the shore,]3
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.

Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
        And let the young lambs bound
        As to the tabor's sound!
    We, in thought, will join your throng,
        Ye that pipe and ye that play,
        Ye that through your hearts to-day
        Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
    Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
        We will grieve not, rather find
        Strength in what remains behind;
        In the primal sympathy,
        Which having been must ever be;
        In the soothing thoughts that spring
        Out of human suffering;
        In the faith that looks through death;
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

And, O ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Forbode not any severing of our loves!
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquish'd one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway:
I love the brooks which down their channels fret
Even more than when I tripp'd lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a new-born day
            Is lovely yet;
The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

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1 Finzi: "the Earth"
2 Finzi: "culling"
3 omitted by Dyson.
4 Dyson: "days"
5 Dyson: "the"

Researcher for this text: Ahmed E. Ismail
Total word count: 3071