Five Songs, from the Works of the English Poets, &c.

Song Cycle by M. Stydolf, Mr.

Word count: 986

?. To an absentee [sung text not yet checked]

O'er hill, and dale, and distant sea,
Through all the miles that stretch between,
My thought must fly to rest on thee,
And would, though worlds should intervene.

Nay, thou art now so dear, methinks
The further we are forced apart,
Affection's firm elastic links
But bind the closer round the heart.

For now we sever each from each,
I learn what I have lost in thee;
Alas! that nothing less could teach
How great indeed my love should be!

Farewell! I did not know thy worth:
But thou art gone, and now 'tis prized:
So angels walked unknown on earth,
But when they flew were recognized!


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First published in London Magazine, 1822, with the author given as "Incog."
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. To Thyrza [sung text not yet checked]

One struggle more, and I am free
  From pangs that rend [my]1 heart in twain;
One last long sigh to love and thee,
  Then back to busy life again.
It suits me well to mingle now
  With things that never pleas'd before:
Though ev'ry joy is fled below,
  What future grief can touch me more?

Then bring me wine, the banquet bring;
  Man was not form'd to live alone:
I'll be that light, unmeaning thing
  That smiles with all, and weeps with none.
It was not thus in days more dear,
  It never would have been, but thou
Hast fled, and left me lonely here;
  Thou'rt nothing --- all are nothing now.

In vain my lyre would lightly breathe!
  The smile that sorrow fain would wear
But mocks the woe that lurks beneath
  Like roses, roses o'er a sepulchre.
Though gay companions o'er the bowl
  Dispel awhile the sense of ill:
Though pleasure fires the madd'ning soul,
  The heart -- the heart is lonely still!

On many a lone and lovely night
  It sooth'd to gaze upon the sky;
For then I deem'd the heavenly light
  Shone sweetly on thy pensive eye:
And oft I thought at Cynthia's noon,
  When sailing o'er the Ægean wave,
"Now Thyrza gazes on that moon " ---
  Alas, it gleam'd upon her grave !
When stretch'd on fever's sleepless bed,
  And sickness shrunk my throbbing veins,
" 'T is comfort still,"   I faintly said,
  "That Thyrza cannot know my pains: "
Like freedom to the time-worn slave,
  A boon 'tis idle then to give,
Relenting Nature vainly gave
  My life, when Thyrza ceased to live !

My Thyrza's pledge in better days,
  When love and life alike were new!
How diff'rent now [thou meet'st]2 my gaze!
  How ting'd by time with sorrow's hue!
The heart that gave itself [with]3 thee
  Is silent - ah, were mine as still!
Though cold as e'en the dead can be,
  It feels, it sickens with the chill.

Thou bitter pledge! thou mournful token !
  Though painful,  welcome to my breast !
Still,  still preserve that love unbroken,
  Or break the heart to which thou'rt press'd.
Time tempers love, but not removes,
  More hallow'd when its hope is fled:
Oh !   what are thousand living loves
  To that which cannot quit the dead ?


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Confirmed with Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, a Romaunt: and other Poems, seventh Edition, London: John Murray, 1814, pages 223 - 226. Appears in Poems.

1 Clarke-Whitfeld: "this"
2 Clarke-Whitfeld: "it meets"
3 Clarke-Whitfeld: "for"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Break, break, break [sung text not yet checked]

Break, break, [break,]1
  On [thy]2 cold grey stones, O Sea! 
And I would that my tongue could utter 
  The thoughts that arise in me. 

[O]3 well for the fisherman's boy, 
  That he shouts [with]4 his sister at play! 
[O]3 well for the sailor lad, 
  That he sings in his boat on the bay! 

And the stately ships [go]5 on 
  To their haven under the hill; 
But O for the touch of a [vanish'd]6 hand, 
  And the sound of a voice that is still! 

Break, break, [break,]1
  At the foot of thy crags, O Sea! 
But the tender grace of a day that is dead 
  Will never come back to me.


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View original text (without footnotes)
Poet's note: "Made in a Lincolnshire lane at five o'clock in the morning, between blossoming hedges"
Written in memory of Tennyson's friend Arthur Hallam (d. 1833).
1 Végh: "o sea, o sea"
2 Manning: "the"
3 Manning: "Ah"
4 Manning: "to"
5 Manning: "sail"
6 Végh: "vanished"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

?. To Thyrza [sung text not yet checked]

Without a stone to mark the spot,
   And say, what Truth might well have said,
By all, save one, perchance forgot,
   Ah! Wherefore art thou lowly laid?

By many a shore and many a sea
   Divided, yet beloved in vain;
The Past, the Future fled to thee,
   To bid us meet -- no -- ne'er again!

Could this have been -- a word, a look,
   That softly said, "We part in peace,"
Had taught my bosom how to brook,
   With fainter sighs, thy soul's release.

And didst thou not, since Death for thee
   Prepared a light and pangless dart,
Once long for him thou ne'er shall see
   Who held, and holds thee in his heart?

Oh! Who like him had watch'd thee here?
   Or sadly mark'd thy glazing eye,
In that dread hour ere death appear,
   When silent sorrow fears to sigh,

Till all was past? But when no more
   'Twas thine to reck of human woe,
Affection's heart-drops, gushing o'er
   Had flow'd as fast -- as now they flow.

Shall they not flow, when many a day
   In these, to me, deserted towers,
Ere call'd but for a time away,
   Affection's mingling tears were ours?

Ours too the glance none saw beside;
   The smile none else might understand;
The whisper'd thought of hearts allied,
   The pressure of the thrilling hand.

The kiss, so guiltless and refined,
   That Love each warmer wish forbore;
Those eyes proclaim'd so pure a mind
   Even Passion blush'd to plead for more.

The tone, that taught me to rejoice,
   When prone, unlike thee, to repine;
The song, celestial from thy voice,
   But sweet to me from none but thine;

The pledge we wore -- I wear it still,
   But where is thine? -- Ah! Where art thou?
Oft have I borne the weight of ill,
   But never bent beneath till now!

Well hast thou left in life's best bloom
   The cup of woe for me to drain.
If rest alone be in the tomb,
   I would not wish thee here again.

But if in worlds more blest than this
   Thy virtues seek a fitter sphere,
Impart some portion of thy bliss,
   To wean me from mine anguish here.

Teach me -- too early taught by thee!
   To bear, forgiving and forgiven:
On earth thy love was such to me;
   It fain would form my hope in heaven!


Confirmed with Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, a Romaunt: and other Poems, seventh Edition, London: John Murray, 1814, pages 218 - 220. Appears in Poems.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]