Dedications: 5 Poems by Robert Herrick

Song Cycle by Madeleine Dring (1923 - 1977)

Word count: 798

1. To daffodils [sung text checked 1 time]

Fair daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon.
Stay, stay
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to [the]1 evensong,
And, having pray'd together, we	
Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.
We die,
As your hours [do,]2 and dry
Away,
Like to the summer's rain,
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Pauline Kroger) , "Aan de narcissen", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Narsisseille", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , "An Narzissen", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Darke.
2 omitted by Farrar.

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

2. To the virgins, to make much of time [sung text checked 1 time]

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And [this]1 same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

[The]2 glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,
The higher he's a-getting
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
[But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times, still succeed the former. ]3

Then be not coy, but use your time;
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

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

  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Alfredo García) , "A las vírgenes, para que aprovechen el tiempo", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Lawes: "that"
2 Dring: "That"
3 Lawes: "Expect not the last and worst, / Time still succeeds the former."

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. To the willow tree [sung text checked 1 time]

Thou art to all lost love the best,
   The only true plant found,
Where-with young men and maids distrest,
   And left of love, are crown'd.

When once the lover's rose is dead,
   Or laid aside forlorn:
Then willow garlands 'bout the head
   Bedew'd with tears are worn.
	
When with neglect, the lover's bane,
   Poor maids rewarded be
For their love lost, their only gain
   Is but a wreath from thee.

And underneath thy cooling shade,
   When weary of the light,
The love-spent youth and lovesick maid
   Come to weep out the night.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. To music - to becalm a sweetsick youth [sung text checked 1 time]

Charm me asleep, and melt me so
With thy delicious numbers,
That, being ravish'd, hence I go
Away in easy slumbers.
Ease my sick head,
And make my bed,
Thou power that canst sever
From me this ill,
And quickly still,
Though thou not kill
My fever.

Thou sweetly canst convert the same
From a consuming fire
Into a gentle licking flame,
And make it thus expire.
Then make me weep
My pains asleep;
And give me such reposes
That I, poor I,
May think thereby
I live and die
'Mongst roses.

Fall on me like [a]1 silent dew,
Or like those maiden showers
Which, by the peep of day, do strew
A baptism o'er the flowers
Melt, melt my pains
With thy soft strains;
That, having ease me given,
With full delight
I leave this light,
And take my flight
[For]2 Heaven.

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Hindemith: "the"
2 Gideon, Hindemith: "To"

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

5. To Phillis - to love and live with him [sung text checked 1 time]

Live, live with me, and thou shalt see
The pleasures I'll prepare for thee: 
What sweets the country can afford 
Shall bless thy bed, and bless thy board. 

The soft sweet moss shall be thy bed, 
With crawling woodbine over-spread: 
By which the silver-shedding streams 
Shall gently melt thee into dreams. 

Thy clothing next, shall be a gown 
Made of the fleeces' purest down.
The tongues of kids shall be thy meat; 
Their milk thy drink; and thou shalt eat 

The paste of filberts for thy bread 
With cream of cowslips buttered: 
Thy feasting-table shall be hills 
With daisies spread, and daffadils; 

Where thou shalt sit, and Red-breast by, 
For meat, shall give thee melody. 
I'll give thee chains and carcanets 
Of primroses and violets. 

A bag and bottle thou shalt have, 
That richly wrought, and this as brave; 
So that as either shall express 
The wearer's no mean shepherdess. 

At shearing-times, and yearly wakes, 
When Themilis his pastime makes, 
There thou shalt be; and be the wit, 
Nay more, the feast, and grace of it. 

On holydays, when virgins meet 
To dance the heys with nimble feet, 
Thou shalt come forth, and then appear 
The Queen of Roses for that year. 

And having danced ('bove all the best) 
Carry the garland from the rest, 
In wicker-baskets maids shall bring 
To thee, my dearest shepherdling, 

The blushing apple, bashful pear, 
And shame-faced plum, all simp'ring there. 
Walk in the groves, and thou shalt find 
The name of Phillis in the rind 

Of every straight and smooth-skin tree; 
Where kissing that, I'll twice kiss thee. 
To thee a sheep-hook I will send, 
Be-prank'd with ribbands, to this end, 

This, this alluring hook might be 
Be-prank'd with ribbands, to this end, 
This, this alluring hook might be 
 Less for to catch a sheep, than me. 

Thou shalt have possets, wassails fine, 
Not made of ale, but spiced wine; 
To make thy maids and self free mirth, 
All sitting near the glitt'ring hearth. 

Thou shalt have ribbands, roses, rings, 
Gloves, garters, stockings, shoes and strings
of winning colours, that shall move 
Others to lust, but me to love. 

- These, nay, and more, thine own shall be 
If thou wilt love, and live with me.

Authorship

Research team for this text: Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor] , Mike Pearson