Three Songs of Christina Rossetti

Song Cycle by David Arditti (b. 1964)

Word count: 192

1. Two doves upon the selfsame branch [sung text checked 1 time]

Two doves upon the selfsame branch,
  Two lilies on a single stem,
Two butterflies upon one flower :--
  O happy we who look on them.

Who look upon them hand in hand
  Flushed in the rosy summer light ;
Who look upon them hand in hand
  And never give a thought to night.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. O roses for the flush of youth [sung text checked 1 time]

O roses for the flush of youth, 
  And laurel for the perfect prime; 
But pluck an ivy branch for me 
  Grown old before my time. 

O violets for the grave of youth, 
  And bay for those dead in their prime; 
Give me the withered leaves I chose 
  Before in the old time.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Note: first published under the pseudonym of Ellen Alleyn.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. When I am dead, my dearest [sung text checked 1 time]

When I am dead, my dearest,
  Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
  Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
  With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
  And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
  I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
  Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
  That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
  And haply may forget.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Nach meinem Tode, Liebster", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Canzone", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry