Five Thomas Hardy Songs

Song Cycle by Derek Healey (b. 1936)

Word count: 259

?. More than one cuckoo [sung text not yet checked]

More than one cuckoo?
 . . . . . . . . . .

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?. In Time of 'The Breaking of Nations' [sung text not yet checked]

Only a man harrowing clods
In a slow silent walk
With an old horse that stumbles and nods
Half asleep as they stalk.

Only thin smoke without flame
From the heaps of couch-grass1;
Yet this will go onward the same
Though Dynasties pass.

Yonder a maid and her wight2
Come whispering by:
War's annals will cloud into night
Ere their story die.


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

View original text (without footnotes)
First published in Saturday Review, January, 1916
1 couch-grass: a type of weed.
2 wight: man.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. This is the weather the cuckoo likes [sung text not yet checked]

 This is the weather the cuckoo likes,
	And so do I;
 When showers betumble the chestnut spikes,
	And nestlings fly;
 And the little brown nightingale bills his best,
 And they sit outside at "The Traveller's Rest",
 And maids come forth sprig-muslin drest,
 And citizens dream of the south and west,
	And so do I.

 This is the weather the shepherd shuns,
	And so do I;
 When beeches drip in browns and duns,
	And thresh and ply;
 And hill-hid tides throb, throe on throe,
 And meadow rivulets overflow,
 And drops on gate bars hang in a row,
 And rooks in families homeward go,
	And so do I.


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First published in Good Housekeeping, London, May 1922

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

?. There's no winsome woman [sung text not yet checked]

There's no winsome woman so winsome as she;
  Some are flower-like in mouth,
  Some have fire in the eyes,
  Some feed a soul's drouth
  Trilling words music-wise;
But where are these gifts all in one found to be
  Save in her known to me?

What her thoughts are I read not, but this much I know,
  That she, too, will pass
  From the sun and the air
  To her cave under grass;
  And the world will declare,
"No such woman as his passioned utterances show
  Walked this planet, we trow!"


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]