Dramatic Lyrics Set I

Song Cycle by Granville Ransome Bantock, Sir (1868 - 1946)

1. In a year [sung text not yet checked]

Never any more,
  While I live,
Need I hope to see his face
  As before.
Once his love grown chill,
  Mine may strive:
Bitterly we re-embrace,
  Single still.

Was it something said,
  Something done,
Vexed him? was it touch of hand,
  Turn of head?
Strange! that very way
  Love begun:
I as little understand
  Love's decay.

When I sewed or drew,
  I recall
How he looked as if I sung,
  ---Sweetly too.
If I spoke a word,
  First of all
Up his cheek the colour sprang,
  Then he heard.

Sitting by my side,
  At my feet,
So he breathed but air I breathed,
  Satisfied!
I, too, at love's brim
  Touched the sweet:
I would die if death bequeathed
  Sweet to him.

"Speak, I love thee best!"
   He exclaimed:
"Let thy love my own foretell!"
  I confessed:
"Clasp my heart on thine
  "Now unblamed,
"Since upon thy soul as well
  "Hangeth mine!"

Was it wrong to own,
  Being truth?
Why should all the giving prove
  His alone?
I had wealth and ease,
  Beauty, youth:
Since my lover gave me love,
  I gave these.

That was all I meant,
  ---To be just,
And the passion I had raised,
  To content.
Since he chose to change
  Gold for dust,
If I gave him what he praised
  Was it strange?

Would he loved me yet,
  On and on,
While I found some way undreamed
  ---Paid my debt!
Gave more life and more,
  Till, all gone,
He should smile "She never seemed
  "Mine before.

"What, she felt the while,
  "Must I think?
"Love's so different with us men!"
He should smile:
  "Dying for my sake---
"White and pink!
  "Can't we touch these bubbles then
"But they break?"

Dear, the pang is brief,
  Do thy part,
Have thy pleasure! How perplexed
  Grows belief!
Well, this cold clay clod
  Was man's heart:
Crumble it, and what comes next?
  Is it God?

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2. The guardian angel [sung text checked 1 time]

   A picture at Fano

Dear and great Angel, wouldst thou only leave
  That child, when thou hast done with him, for me!
Let me sit all the day here, that when eve
  Shall find performed thy special ministry,
And time come for departure, thou, suspending
Thy flight, mayst see another child for tending,
  Another still, to quiet and retrieve.

[ ... ]

If this was ever granted, I would rest
  My bead beneath thine, while thy healing hands
Close-covered both my eyes beside thy breast,
  Pressing the brain, which too much thought expands,
Back to its proper size again, and smoothing
Distortion down till every nerve had soothing,
  And all lay quiet, happy and suppressed.

[ ... ]

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3. My star [sung text not yet checked]

All, that I know
Of a certain star
Is, it can throw
(Like the angled spar)
Now a dart of red,
Now a dart of blue
Till my friends have said
They would fain see, too,
My star that dartles the red and the blue!
Then it stops like a bird; like a flower, hangs furled:
They must solace themselves with the Saturn above it.
What matter to me if their star is a world?
Mine has opened its soul to me; therefore I love it.

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4. A woman's last word [sung text not yet checked]

I.
Let's contend no more, Love,
Strive nor weep:
All be as before, Love,
-- Only sleep!

II.
What so wild as words are?
I and thou
In debate, as birds are,
Hawk on bough!

III.
See the creature stalking
While we speak!
Hush and hide the talking,
Cheek on cheek!

IV.
What so false as truth is,
False to thee?
Where the serpent's tooth is
Shun the tree --

V.
Where the apple reddens
Never pry --
Lest we lose our Edens,
Eve and I.

VI.
Be a god and hold me
With a charm!
Be a man and fold me
With thine arm!

VII.
Teach me, only teach, Love
As I ought
I will speak thy speech, Love,
Think thy thought --

VIII.
Meet, if thou require it,
Both demands,
Laying flesh and spirit
In thy hands.

IX.
That shall be to-morrow
Not to-night:
I must bury sorrow
Out of sight:

X.
-- Must a little weep, Love,
(Foolish me!)
And so fall asleep, Love,
Loved by thee.

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5. Home-thoughts [sung text not yet checked]

Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops - at the bent spray's edge -
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
- Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

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Total word count: 1182