Peacock Pie

Song Cycle by Hugh Stevenson Roberton, Sir (1874 - 1952)

?. Five eyes [sung text not yet checked]

In Hans' old Mill his three black cats
Watch the bins for the thieving rats.
Whisker and claw, they crouch in the night,
Their five eyes smouldering green and bright:
Squeaks from the flour sacks, squeaks from where
The cold wind stirs on the empty stair,
Squeaking and scampering, everywhere.
Then down they pounce, now in, now out,
At whisking tail, and sniffing snout;
While lean old Hans he snores away
Till peep of light at break of day;
Then up he climbs to his creaking mill,
Out come his cats all grey with meal -
Jeckel, and Jessup, and one-eyed Jill.

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Confirmed with Peacock Pie. A Book of Rhymes by Walter de la Mare, London: Constable & Co. Ltd., [1920].


Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

?. The ride-by-nights [sung text not yet checked]

Up on their brooms the Witches stream,
Crooked and black in the crescent's gleam;
One foot high, and one foot low,
Bearded, cloaked, and cowled, they go,
'Neath Charlie's Wain they twitter and tweet,
And away they swarm 'neath the Dragon's feet,
With a whoop and a flutter they swing and sway,
And surge pell-mell down the Milky Way.
Betwixt the legs of the glittering Chair
They hover and squeak in the empty air.
Then round they swoop past the glimmering Lion
To where Sirius barks behind huge Orion;
Up, then, and over to wheel amain,
Under the silver, and home again.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Three jolly gentlemen [sung text not yet checked]

Three jolly gentlemen,
  In coats of red,
Rode their horses
  Up to bed.
Three jolly gentlemen
  Snored till morn,
Their horses champing
  The golden corn.
Three jolly gentlemen
  At break of day,
Came clitter-clatter down the stairs
  And galloped away.

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Confirmed with Peacock Pie. A Book of Rhymes by Walter de la Mare, London: Constable & Co. Ltd., [1920], page 39.


Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

?. The old stone house [sung text not yet checked]

Nothing on the grey roof, nothing on the brown,
Only a little greening where the rain drips down;
Nobody at the window, nobody at the door,
Only a little hollow which a foot once wore;
But still I tread on tiptoe, still tiptoe on I go,
Past nettles, porch, and weedy well, for oh, I know
A friendless face is peering, and a still clear eye
Peeps closely through the casement as my step goes by.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Where is beauty? [sung text not yet checked]

Where is beauty?
       Gone, gone:
The cold winds have taken it
  With their faint moan;
The white stars have shaken it,
  Trembling down,
Into the pathless deeps of the sea.
       Gone, gone
  Is beauty from me.

The clear naked flower
  Is faded and dead;
The green-leafed willow,
  Drooping her head,
Whispers low to the shade
  Of her boughs in the stream,
       Sighing a beauty,
       Secret as dream.

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Confirmed with Peacock Pie. A Book of Rhymes by Walter de la Mare, London: Constable & Co. Ltd., [1920], page 168.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Of all the trees in England [sung text not yet checked]

Of all the trees in England,
  Her sweet three corners in,
Only the Ash, the bonnie Ash
  Burns fierce while it is green.

Of all the trees in England,
  From sea to sea again,
The Willow loveliest stoops her boughs
  Beneath the driving rain.

Of all the trees in England,
  Past frankincense and myrrh,
There's none for smell, of bloom and smoke,
  Like Lime and Juniper.

Of all the trees in England,
  Oak, Elder, Elm and Thorn,
The Yew alone burns lamps of peace
  For them that lie forlorn.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Dream-song [sung text not yet checked]

     Sunlight, moonlight,
     Twilight, starlight --
Gloaming at the close of day,
     And an owl calling,
     Cool dews falling
In a wood of oak and may.

     Lantern-light, taper-light,
     Torchlight, no-light:
Darkness at the shut of day,
     And lions roaring,
     Their wrath pouring
In wild waste places far away.

     Elf-light, bat-light,
     Touchwood-light and toad-light,
And the sea a shimmering gloom of grey,
     And a small face smiling
     In a dream's beguiling
In a world of wonders far away.

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Confirmed with Peacock Pie. A Book of Rhymes by Walter de la Mare, London: Constable & Co. Ltd., [1920], p. 172.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Total word count: 552