A Blake Cantata

Song Cycle by Edwin James Nairn Carr (b. 1926)

1. Memory, hither come [sung text not yet checked]

Memory, hither come
  And tune your merry notes;
And while upon the wind
  Your music floats,

I'll pore upon the stream,
  Where sighing lovers dream,
And fish for fancies as they pass
  Within the watery glass.

I'll drink of the clear stream,
  And hear the linnet's song,
And there I'll lie and dream
  The day along;

And when night comes I'll go
  To places fit for woe,
Walking along the darkened valley,
  With silent melancholy.

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

2. To the Muses [sung text not yet checked]

Whether on Ida's shady brow, 
Or in the chambers of the East,
The chambers of the sun, that now
From ancient melody have ceas'd;

Whether in Heav'n ye wander fair,
Or the green corners of the earth,
Or the blue regions of the air,
Where the melodious winds have birth;

Whether on crystal rocks ye rove,
Beneath the bosom of the sea
Wand'ring in many a coral grove,
Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry!

How have you left the ancient love
That bards of old enjoy'd in you!
The languid strings do scarcely move!
The sound is forc'd, the notes are few!

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

  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "К Музам", copyright © 1981, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. The jocund dance [sung text not yet checked]

I love the [jocund]1 dance, 
The softly breathing song, 
Where innocent eyes do glance,
[And]2 where lisps the maiden's tongue.  

I love the laughing vale, 
I love the echoing [hills]3, 
Where mirth does never fail, 
And the jolly swain laughs his fill. 

I love the pleasant cot,
I love the innocent bow'r,
Where white and brown is our lot,
Or fruit in the midday hour. 

I love the oaken seat,
Beneath the oaken tree,
Where all the [old]2 villagers meet,
And laugh [our]4 sports to see. 

I love our neighbors all,
But Kitty, I [better love thee]5;
And love them [I ever]6  shall;
But thou art all to me.

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Mitchell: "merry"
2 not set by Mitchell.
3 Mitchell: "hill"
4 Mitchell: "my"
5 Mitchell: "love thee more"
6 Mitchell: "ever I"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Sound the flute [sung text not yet checked]

Sound the Flute!
Now [it's]1 mute.
Birds delight
Day and Night;
Nightingale
In the dale,
Lark in Sky,2
Merrily, Merrily, Merrily,
To welcome in the Year.

Little Boy,
Full of Joy;
Little Girl,
Sweet and small;
Cock does crow,
So do you;
Merry voice,
Infant noise;
Merrily, Merrily, 
To welcome in the Year.

Little Lamb,
Here I am;
Come and [lick
My white neck;]3
Let me pull
Your soft Wool;
Let me kiss
Your soft face;
Merrily, Merrily, 
[We]4 welcome in the Year.

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 MacNutt: "'tis"
2 Dougherty inserts "Out of sight" after this line
3 MacNutt: "play/ Hours away"
4 MacNutt: "To"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]
Total word count: 367