Three Partsongs

Song Cycle by George Whitefield Chadwick (1854 - 1931)

Word count: 444

1. Darest thou now, O soul [sung text not yet checked]

Darest thou now O Soul,
Walk out with me toward the Unknown Region,
Where neither ground is for the feet
   nor any path to follow?

No map there, nor guide,
Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,
Nor face with blooming flesh,
   nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.

I know it not O Soul;
Nor dost thou -- all is a blank before us;
All waits, undream'd of, in that region,
   [that inaccessible land]1.

Till when the [ties loosen]2,
All but the ties eternal, Time and Space,
Nor darkness, gravitation, sense,
   nor any bounds, [bound]3 us.

Then we burst forth -- we float,
In Time and Space, O Soul, prepared for them;
Equal, equipt at last, -- 
   (O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfil, O Soul.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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Note: the indented lines have been broken off from the preceding lines so that parallel translations will be easier to see. This poem has five stanzas of three lines each.

1 W. Schuman: "the inaccessible land,/ The unknown region."
2 Bacon: "tie is loosened"
3 Bacon: "bounding"

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

2. Credo [sung text not yet checked]

For the sole edification
Of this decent congregation,
Goodly people, by your grant
I will sing a holy chant--
I will sing a holy chant.
If the ditty sound but oddly,
'Twas a father, wise and godly,
Sang it so long ago--
Then sing as Martin Luther sang,
As Doctor Martin Luther sang:
"Who loves not wine, woman and song,
He is a fool his whole life long!"

He, by custom patriarchal,
Loved to see the beaker sparkle;
And he thought the wine improved,
Tasted by the lips he loved--
By the kindly lips he loved.
Friends, I wish this custom pious
Duly were observed by us,
To combine love, song, wine,
And sing as Martin Luther sang,
As Doctor Martin Luther sang:
"Who loves not wine, woman and song,
He is a fool his whole life long!"

Who refuses this our Credo,
And who will not sing as we do,
Were he holy as John Knox,
I'd pronounce him heterodox!
I'd pronounce him heterodox,
And from out this congregation,
With a solemn commination,
Banish quick the heretic,
Who will not sing as Luther sang,
As Doctor Martin Luther sang:
"Who loves not wine, woman and song,
He is a fool his whole life long!"

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First published in Cornhill Magazine, January 1861 - August 1862, as part of "The Adventures of Philip" with the title "Doctor Luther", revised and published separately 1869. First line used to read "For the souls' edification"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Pack, clouds, away [sung text checked 1 time]

Pack, clouds, away! and welcome, day!
  With night we banish sorrow.
Sweet air, blow soft; mount, larks, aloft
  To give my Love good-morrow!
Wings from the wind to please her mind,
  Notes from the lark I'll borrow:
Bird, prune thy wing! nightingale, sing!
  To give my Love good-morrow!
      To give my Love good-morrow
      Notes from them both I'll borrow.

Wake from thy nest, robin-red-breast!
  Sing, birds, in every furrow!
And from each [bill]1, let music shrill
  Give my fair Love good-morrow!
Blackbird and thrush in every bush,
  Stare, linnet, and cocksparrow!
You pretty elves, [among]2 yourselves
  Sing my fair Love good-morrow;
      To give my Love good-morrow
      Sing, birds, in every furrow!

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View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with The Oxford Book of English Verse, edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch, OUP, 1919, Item 205.

Glossary
Stare = starling

1 Chadwick: "hill" (typo?)
2 Chadwick: "amongst"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Iain Sneddon [Guest Editor]