Thirteen Dickinson Songs

Song Cycle by George Perle (1915 - 2009)

Word count: 0

1. Perhaps you'd like to buy a flower [sung text not yet checked]

Perhaps you'd like to buy a flower,
But I could never sell --
If you would like to borrow,
Until the Daffodil

Unties her yellow Bonnet
Beneath the village door,
Until the Bees, from Clover rows
Their Hock, and Sherry, draw,

Why, I will lend until just then,
But not an hour more!

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]

2. I like to see it lap the miles [sung text checked 1 time]

I like to see it lap the miles,
And lick the valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at tanks;
And then, prodigious, step

Around a pile of mountains,
And, supercilious, peer
In shanties by the sides of roads;
And then a quarry pare

To fit its [sides]1, and crawl between,
Complaining all the while
In horrid, hooting stanza;
Then chase itself down hill

And neigh like Boanerges;
Then, punctual as a star,
Stop - docile and omnipotent -
At its own stable door.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Getty, Perle: "ribs"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. I know some lonely houses off the road [sung text not yet checked]

I know some lonely Houses off the Road
A Robber'd like the look of --
Wooden barred,
And Windows hanging low,
Inviting to --
A Portico,
Where two could creep --
One -- hand the Tools --
The other peep --
To make sure All's Asleep --
Old fashioned eyes --
Not easy to surprise!

How orderly the Kitchen'd look, by night,
With just a Clock --
But they could gag the Tick --
And Mice won't bark --
And so the Walls -- don't tell --
None -- will --

A pair of Spectacles ajar just stir --
An Almanac's aware --
Was it the Mat -- winked,
Or a Nervous Star?
The Moon -- slides down the stair,
To see who's there!

There's plunder -- where --
Tankard, or Spoon --
Earring -- or Stone --
A Watch -- Some Ancient Brooch
To match the Grandmama --
Staid sleeping -- there --

Day -- rattles -- too
Stealth's -- slow --
The Sun has got as far
As the third Sycamore --
Screams Chanticleer
"Who's there"?

And Echoes -- Trains away,
Sneer -- "Where"!
While the old Couple, just astir,
Fancy the Sunrise -- left the door ajar!

Authorship

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]

4. There came a wind like a bugle [sung text checked 1 time]

There came a wind like a bugle,
It quivered through the grass,
And a green chill upon the heat
So ominous did pass

We barred the windows and the doors
As from an emerald ghost
The doom's electric moccasin
That very instant passed.

On a strange mob of panting trees,
And fences fled away,
And rivers where the houses ran
The living looked that day,

The bell within the steeple wild,
The flying tidings whirled.
How much can come and much can go,
And yet abide the world!

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Vingué un vent com un clarí", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Alors vint un vent comme un clairon", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Beauty be not caused - it is [sung text checked 1 time]

Beauty [be]1 not caused, - it is;
Chase it and it ceases,
Chase it not and it abides,
Overtake the creases
in the meadow
when the wind
runs its long fingers through it?
Deity will see to it
that you never do it.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Dougherty: "is"

Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

6. The wind tapped like a tired man [sung text not yet checked]

The wind tapped like a tired man,
And like a host, "Come in,"
I boldly answered; entered then
My residence within

A rapid, footless guest,
To offer whom a chair
Were as impossible as hand
A sofa to the air.

No bone had he to bind him,
His speech was like the push
Of numerous humming-birds at once
From a superior bush.

His countenance a billow,
His fingers, if he pass,
Let go a music, as of tunes
Blown tremulous in glass.

He visited, still flitting;
Then, like a timid man,
Again he tapped - 't was flurriedly -
And I became alone.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. These are the days when birds come back [sung text checked 1 time]

These are the days when Birds come back --
A very few -- a Bird or two --
To take a backward look.

These are the days when skies resume
The old -- old sophistries of June --
A blue and gold mistake.

Oh fraud that cannot cheat the Bee --
Almost thy plausibility
Induces my belief.

Till ranks of seeds their witness bear --
And softly thro' the altered air
Hurries a timid leaf.

Oh Sacrament of summer days,
Oh Last Communion in the Haze --
Permit a child to join.

Thy sacred emblems to partake --
They consecrated bread to take
And thine immortal wine!

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]

8. The heart asks pleasure first [sung text not yet checked]

The heart asks pleasure - first,
And then excuse from pain.
And then those little anodynes
That deaden suffering.

And then, to go to sleep;
And then, if it should be
The will of its Inquisitor,
The liberty to die.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le Cœur réclame le Plaisir - d'abord", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

9. What if I say I shall not wait [sung text not yet checked]

What if I say I shall not wait?
What if I burst the fleshly gate
And pass, escaped, to thee?
What if I file this mortal off,

See where it hurt me, - that's enough, -
And wade in liberty?
They cannot take us any more, -
Dungeons may call, and guns implore;

Unmeaning now, to me,
As laughter was an hour ago,
Or laces, or a travelling show,
Or who died yesterday!

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

10. If I'm lost - now [sung text not yet checked]

If I'm lost -- now
That I was found --
Shall still my transport be --
That once -- on me -- those Jasper Gates
Blazed open -- suddenly --

That in my awkward -- gazing -- face --
The Angels -- softly peered --
And touched me with their fleeces,
Almost as if they cared --
I'm banished -- now -- you know it --
How foreign that can be --
You'll know -- Sir -- when the Savior's face
Turns so -- away from you --

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

11. The loneliness one dare not sound [sung text not yet checked]

The Loneliness One dare not sound --
And would as soon surmise
As in its Grave go plumbing
To ascertain the size --

The Loneliness whose worst alarm
Is lest itself should see --
And perish from before itself
For just a scrutiny --

The Horror not to be surveyed --
But skirted in the Dark --
With Consciousness suspended --
And Being under Lock --

I fear me this -- is Loneliness --
The Maker of the soul
Its Caverns and its Corridors
Illuminate -- or seal --

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

12. Under the Light, yet under [sung text not yet checked]

Under the Light, yet under,
Under the Grass and the Dirt,
Under the Beetle's Cellar
Under the Clover's Root,

Further than Arm could stretch
Were it Giant long,
Further than Sunshine could
Were the Day Year long,

Over the Light, yet over,
Over the Arc of the Bird --
Over the Comet's chimney --
Over the Cubit's Head,

Further than Guess can gallop
Further than Riddle ride --
Oh for a Disc to the Distance
Between Ourselves and the Dead!

Authorship

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

13. She bore it till the simple veins [sung text not yet checked]

She bore it till the simple veins
Traced azure on her hand --
Til pleading, round her quiet eyes
The purple Crayons stand.

Till Daffodils had come and gone
I cannot tell the sum,
And then she ceased to bear it --
And with the Saints sat down.

No more her patient figure
At twilight soft to meet --
No more her timid bonnet
Upon the village street --

But Crowns instead, and Courtiers --
And in the midst so fair,
Whose but her shy -- immortal face
Of whom we're whispering here?

Authorship

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]