Songs of Desire

Song Cycle by Naresh Sohal (b. 1939)

Word count: 268

1. My desires are many and my cry is pitiful[sung text checked 1 time]

My desires are many and my cry is pitiful,
but ever didst thou save me by hard refusals;
and this strong mercy has been wrought into my life 
through and through.

Day by day thou art making me worthy of the simple,
great gifts that thou gavest to me unasked;
this sky and the light, this [body and the life and the mind]1
saving me from perils of overmuch desire.

There are times when I languidly linger
and times when I awaken and hurry [in]2 search of my goal;
but cruelly thou hidest thyself from before me.

Day by day thou art making me worthy of thy full acceptance
by refusing me ever and anon,
saving me from perils of weak, uncertain desire.

Authorship

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Mes désirs sont nombreux et mon cri fait pitié", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Sohal: "body, this life and this mind"
2 Sohal: "to"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. I am here to sing thee songs[sung text checked 1 time]

I am here to sing thee songs.
In this hall of thine I have a corner seat.

In thy world I have no work to do;
My useless life can only break out 
in tunes without a purpose.

When the hour strikes for thy silent worship
at the dark temple of midnight,
command me, my master, to stand before thee to sing.

When in the morning air,
the golden harp is tuned,
honour me, commanding my presence.

Authorship

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Je suis ici pour chanter des chants", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. I have had my invitation to this world's festival[sung text checked 1 time]

I have had my invitation to this world's festival,
and thus my life has been blessed.

My eyes have seen and my ears have heard.
It was my part [at this feast]1 
to play upon my instrument 
and I have done all I could.

Now, I ask, has the time come at last 
when I may go in 
and see thy face 
and offer thee my silent salutation?

Authorship

Based on

See other settings of this text.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Sohal.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]