Harmonium

Song Cycle by John Coolidge Adams (b. 1947)

Word count: 273

1. Negative love [sung text not yet checked]

I never stoop'd so low, as they
Which on an eye, cheek, lip, can prey;
    Seldom to them which soar no higher
    Than virtue, or the mind to admire.
For sense and understanding may
    Know what gives fuel to their fire;
My love, though silly, is more brave;
For may I miss, whene'er I crave,
If I know yet what I would have.

If that be simply perfectest,
Which can by no way be express'd
    But negatives, my love is so.
    To all, which all love, I say no.
If any who deciphers best,
    What we know not -- ourselves -- can know,
Let him teach me that nothing. This
As yet my ease and comfort is,
Though I speed not, I cannot miss.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Because I could not stop for Death  [sung text not yet checked]

Because I [could]1 not stop for Death --
He kindly stopped for me --
The carriage held but just ourselves --
and Immortality.

We slowly drove -- he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labour, and my leisure too
For His Civility --

We passed the school, where children played,
[ At wrestling in a ring]2
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

We paused before a house that seemed
a swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La voiture", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "La carrozza", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Copland, Kagen: "would"
2 Copland: "Their lessons scarcely done"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Wild nights [sung text not yet checked]

Wild nights! -- Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile -- the [Wind]1 --
To a heart in port, --
Done with the Compass, --
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden --
Ah! the Sea!
Might I but moor -- Tonight --
In thee!

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

  • CHI Chinese (中文) (Mei Foong Ang) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , "Sturmnacht! - Sturmnacht!", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Notti selvagge! Notti di tempesta!", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 note: sometimes "Winds". Hoiby, Leisner, Rusche, A. Thomas: "Winds"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]