Peripheral Visions

Song Cycle by George Nicholson (b. 1949)

Word count: 249

1. Abroad and at home [sung text not yet checked]

As Thomas was cudgel'd one day by his wife,
He took to his heels and fled for his life:
Tom's three dearest friends came by in the squabble,
And saved him at once from the shrew and the rabble;
Then ventured to give him some sober advice --
But Tom is a person of honor so nice,
Too wise to take counsel, too proud to take warning,
That he sent to all three a challenge next morning.
Three duels he fought, thrice ventured his life;
Went home, and was cudgeled again by his wife.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. I passed by his garden [sung text not yet checked]

'Tis the voice of the Lobster: I heard him declare
"You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair."
As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose
Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.
When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark,
And will talk in contemptuous tones of the Shark;
But, when the tide rises and sharks are around,
His voice has a timid and tremulous sound.

I passed by his garden, and marked, with one eye,
How the Owl and the Panther were sharing a pie:
The Panther took pie-crust, and gravy, and meat,
While the Owl had the dish as its share of the treat.
When the pie was all finished, the Owl, as a boon,
Was kindly permitted to pocket the spoon;
While the Panther received knife and fork with a growl,
And concluded the banquet by --- 1

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

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1 Note: Alice's recitation is interrupted by the Mock Turtle, who calls the poem "the most confusing thing I ever heard"; in Nicholson's setting, the final words are added in a whisper: "eating the owl". Further changes may exist not noted above.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. J'ai peur [sung text not yet checked]

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  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

4. Call (Incident at Weekend Party) [sung text not yet checked]

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