Sonnet-Tableau

Song Cycle by Solomon Pimsleur (1900 - 1962)

Word count: 317

?. Bright star [sung text not yet checked]

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art -
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite

The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains, and the moors -

No - yet still steadfast, still unchangeable, 
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake forever in a sweet unrest,

Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever - or else swoon to death.

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

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Lucente stella, esser potessi come te costante", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

First published in Plymouth and Devonport Weekly Journal, September 1838, headed "Sonnet"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Sleep [sung text not yet checked]

O soft embalmer of the still midnight!
  Shutting with careful fingers and benign
Our gloom-pleas'd eyes, embower'd from the light,
  Enshaded in forgetfulness divine;
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
  In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
Or wait the "Amen" ere thy poppy throws
  Around my bed its lulling charities.
  Then save me, or the passèd day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes, -
  Save me from curious Conscience, that still [lords]1
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like [a]2 mole;
  Turn the key deftly in the oilèd wards,
And seal the hushèd Casket of my Soul.

Authorship

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Jean-Pierre Granger) , "Sonnet", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • NYN Norwegian (Nynorsk) (Are Frode Søholt) , "Sonnette", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Pablo Sabat) , "Soneto"

View original text (without footnotes)
First published in a Plymouth newspaper in 1838
1 changed to "hoards" by Richard Woodhouse, and kept by Keats in the second transcription. Chávez uses this version.
2 changed to "the" in Keats' second transcription. Chávez uses this as well.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Communion with Nature [sung text not yet checked]

To one who has been long in city pent,
 'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
 And open face of heaven, -- to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
Who is more happy, when, with hearts content,
 Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
 Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
And gentle tale of love and languishment?
Returning home at evening, with an ear
 Catching the notes of Philomel, -- an eye
Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,
 He mourns that day so soon has glided by:
E'en like the passage of an angel's tear
 That falls through the clear ether silently.

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

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Per chi molto tempo restò nelle città rinchiuso", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]