Four Songs

Song Cycle by Leslie R. Bassett (b. 1923)

Word count: 315

1. Paradise [sung text not yet checked]

I bless thee, Lord, because I grow
Among thy trees, which in a row
To thee both fruit and order ow.

What open force, or hidden charm
Can blast my fruit, or bring me harm,
While the inclosure is thine arm.

Inclose me still for fear I start.
Be to me rather sharp and tart,
Then let me want thy hand and art.

When thou dost greater judgments spare,
And with thy knife but prune and pare,
Ev'n fruitfull trees more fruitful are.

Such sharpnes shows the sweetest frend:
Such cuttings rather heal then rend:
And such beginnings touch their end.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. The bird [sung text not yet checked]

 How sweet I roam'd from field to field, 
   And tasted all the summer's pride,
 'Till I the prince of love beheld,
   Who in the sunny beams did glide!

 He shew'd me lilies for my hair,
   And blushing roses for my brow;
 He led me through his gardens fair,
   Where all his golden pleasures grow.

 With sweet May dews my wings were wet,
   And Phoebus fir'd my vocal rage;
 He caught me in his silken net,
   And shut me in his golden cage.

 He loves to sit and hear me sing,
   Then, laughing, sports and plays with me;
 Then stretches out my golden wing,
   And mocks my loss of liberty.

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3. The dark hills [sung text not yet checked]

Dark hills at evening in the west,
Where sunset hovers like a sound
Of golden horns that sang to rest
Old bones of warriors under ground,
Far now from all the bannered ways
Where flash the legions of the sun,
You fade--as if the last of days
Were fading, and all wars were done.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , "Die dunklen Hügel", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Infant Joy [sung text not yet checked]

"I have no name:
I am but two days old."
What shall I call thee?
"I happy am,
Joy is my name."
Sweet joy befall thee!

Pretty Joy!
Sweet Joy, but two days old.
Sweet Joy I call thee:
Thou dost smile,
I sing the while,
Sweet joy befall thee!

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

  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "Дитя-радость", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]