Songs of Calamus

Song Cycle by Noël Lee (1924 - 2013)

Word count: 622

1. I will make the Continent [sung text checked 1 time]

Come, I will make the continent indissoluble,
I will make the most splendid race the sun ever yet shone upon;
I will make divine magnetic lands,
  With the love of comrades,
  With the life-long love of comrades.

I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America, and 
along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies,
I will make inseparable cities with their arms about each other's necks,
  By the love of comrades,
    By the manly love of comrades.

For you these, from me, O Democracy, to serve you, ma femme!
For you! for you, I am trilling these songs,
  In the love of comrades,
    In the high-towering love of comrades.

Authorship

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. To a stranger [sung text checked 1 time]

Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking,
  (it comes to me, as of a dream,)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall'd as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate,
  chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you,
  your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass,
  you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone
  or wake at night alone,
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "À un étranger", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

3. I will plant Companionship [sung text checked 1 time]

Come, I will make the continent indissoluble,
I will make the most splendid race the sun ever yet shone upon;
I will make divine magnetic lands,
  With the love of comrades,
  With the life-long love of comrades.

I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America, and 
along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies,
I will make inseparable cities with their arms about each other's necks,
  By the love of comrades,
    By the manly love of comrades.

For you these, from me, O Democracy, to serve you, ma femme!
For you! for you, I am trilling these songs,
  In the love of comrades,
    In the high-towering love of comrades.

Authorship

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. O you whom I often and silently come [sung text checked 1 time]

O you whom I often and silently come 
  where you are that I may be with you, 
As I walk by your side or sit near,
  or remain in the same room with you, 
Little you know the subtle electric fire
  that for your sake is playing within me.

Authorship

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Researcher for this text: John Versmoren

5. Trickle drops [sung text checked 1 time]

Trickle, drops! my blue veins leaving!  
O drops of me! trickle, slow drops,  
Candid, from me falling -- drip, bleeding drops,  
From wounds made to free you whence you were prison'd,  
From my face -- from my forehead and lips,
From my breast -- from within where I was conceal'd -- press forth, red drops -- confession drops;  
Stain every page -- stain every song I sing, every word I say, bloody drops;  
Let them know your scarlet heat -- let them glisten;  
Saturate them with yourself, all ashamed and wet;  
Glow upon all I have written, or shall write, bleeding drops;
Let it all be seen in your light, blushing drops.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Ton van der Steenhoven

6. Earth my likeness! [sung text checked 1 time]

Earth! my likeness!  
Though you look so impassive, ample and spheric there,  
I now suspect that is not all;  
I now suspect there is something fierce in you, eligible to burst forth;  
For an athlete is enamour'd of me -- and I of him;  
But toward him there is something fierce and terrible in me, eligible to burst forth,  
I dare not tell it in words -- not even in these songs.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Ton van der Steenhoven