Creatures

Song Cycle by Elizabeth Maconchy (1907 - 1994)

Word count: 531

1. The hen and the carp [sung text checked 1 time]

Once, in a roostery
there lived a speckled, and when-
ever she laid an egg this hen
ecstatically cried:
'O progeny miraculous, particular spectaculous,
what a wonderful hen am I!'

Down in a pond nearby
perchance a fat and broody carp
was basking, but her ears where sharp --
she heard Dame Cackle cry:
'O progeny miraculous, particular spectaculous,
what a wonderful hen am I!'

'Ah, Cackle,' bubbled she,
'for your single egg, O silly one,
I lay at least a million;
suppose for each I cried:
"O progeny miraculous, particular spectaculous!"
what a hullaballoo there'd be!'

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. The snail [sung text checked 1 time]

At sunset, when the night-dews fall
 [ ... ]

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3. Rendez-vous with a beetle [sung text checked 1 time]

Meet me in Usk
 [ ... ]

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4. Tiger! Tiger! [sung text checked 1 time]

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,  
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?  

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?  
On what wings dare he aspire?  
What the hand, dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?  

What the hammer? what the chain,  
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!  

When the stars threw down their spears  
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:  
What immortal hand or eye,  
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "El tigre", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le tigre", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , "Der Tiger", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Thomas Schubert) , "Der Tiger", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "Тигр", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Cat's funeral [sung text checked 1 time]

Bury her deep, down deep
 [ ... ]

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6. The dove and the wren [sung text checked 1 time]

The dove says "Coo, coo, what shall I do?
I shall never be able to bring up two."
"Pooh!" says the wren, "I've got ten,
And rear them all like gentlemen!"

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. Cat! [sung text checked 1 time]

Cat! Scat!/ Atter her, atter her
 [ ... ]

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This text may be copyright, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.