Four songs of Yeats

Song Cycle by Jonathan Harvey (1939 - 2012)

Word count: 209

?. A drunken man's praise of sobriety [sung text not yet checked]

Come swish around, my pretty punk,
And keep me dancing still
That I may stay a sober man
Although I drink my fill.
Sobriety is a jewel
That I do much adore;
And therefore keep me dancing
Though drunkards lie and snore.
O mind your feet, O mind your feet,
Keep dancing like a wave,
And under every dancer
A dead man in his grave.
No ups and downs, my pretty,
A mermaid, not a punk;
A drunkard is a dead man,
And all dead men are drunk.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Sweet dancer [sung text not yet checked]

The girl goes dancing there
On the leaf-sown, new-mown, smooth
Grass plot of the garden;
Escaped from bitter youth,
Escaped out of her crowd,
Or out of her black cloud.
Ah, dancer, ah, sweet dancer!

If strange men come from the house
To lead her away, do not say
That she is happy being crazy;
Lead them gently astray;
Let her finish her dance,
Let her finish her dance.
Ah, dancer, ah, sweet dancer!

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

First published in London Mercury, March 1938

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The four ages of Man [sung text not yet checked]

He with body waged a fight,
But body won; it walks upright.

Then he struggled with he heart;
Innocence and peace depart.

Then he struggled with the mind;
His proud heart he left behind.

Now his wars on God begin;
At stroke of midnight God shall win.

Authorship

First published in London Mercury, December 1934 and Poetry, Chicago, December 1934

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]