Three songs to poems of Robert Graves

Song Cycle by Bruce Mather (b. 1939)

Word count: 373

?. Counting the beats [sung text not yet checked]

You, love, and I
 [ ... ]


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First published in Good Housekeeping, April 1950

?. Lost love [sung text not yet checked]

His eyes are quickened so with grief, 
He can watch a grass or leaf 
Every instant grow; he can 
Clearly through a flint wall see, 
Or watch the startled spirit flee 
From the throat of a dead man. 
Across two counties he can hear 
And catch your words before you speak. 
The woodlouse or the maggot's weak 
Clamour rings in his sad ear, 
And noise so slight it would surpass 
Credence--drinking sound of grass, 
Worm talk, clashing jaws of moth 
Chumbling holes in cloth; 
The groan of ants who undertake 
Gigantic loads for honour's sake 
(Their sinews creak, their breath comes thin); 
Whir of spiders when they spin, 
And minute whispering, mumbling, sighs 
Of idle grubs and flies. 
This man is quickened so with grief, 
He wanders god-like or like thief 
Inside and out, below, above, 
Without relief seeking lost love. 


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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

Pale at first and cold,
Like wizard's lily-bloom
Conjured from the gloom,
Like torch of glow-worm seen
Through grasses shining green,
By children half in fright,
Or Christmas candlelight
Flung on the outer snow,
Or tinsel stars that show
Their evening glory
With sheen of fairy story--

Now with his blaze
Love dries the cobweb maze
Dew-sagged upon the corn,
He brings the flowering thorn,
Mayfly and butterfly,
And pigeons in the sky,
Robin and thrush,
And the long bulrush,
The cherry under the leaf,
Earth in a silken dress,
With end to grief,
With joy in steadfastness.


First published in London Mercury, January 1921

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]