The Winds of May

Song Cycle by Kirke Mechem (b. 1925)

Word count: 479

1. The tune [sung text not yet checked]

I know a certain tune that my life plays;
Over and over I have heard it start
With all the wavering loveliness of violas
And gain in swiftness like a runners heart.

It climbs and climbs; I watch it sway in climbing
High over time, high even over doubt,
It has all heaven to itself -- it pauses
And faltering blindly down the air, goes out.


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

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Un air", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Confirmed with Sara Teasdale, Dark of The Moon, New York, The Macmillan Company, 1926, page 84.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Let it be forgotten [sung text not yet checked]

Let it be forgotten as a flower is forgotten,
Forgotten as a fire that once was singing gold.
Let it be forgotten forever and ever.
Time is a kind friend, he will make us old.

If anyone [asks]1, say it was forgotten,
Long and long ago.
As a flower, as a fire, as a hushed foot-fall
In a long forgotten snow.


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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Mills: "should ask"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Over the roofs [sung text not yet checked]


Oh chimes set high on the sunny tower
   Ring on, ring on unendingly,
Make all the hours a single hour,
For when the dusk begins to flower,
   The man I love will come to me! ...

But no, go slowly as you will,
   I should not bid you hasten so,
For while I wait for love to come,
Some other girl is standing dumb,
   Fearing her love will go.


Oh white steam over the roofs, blow high!
   Oh chimes in the tower ring clear and free!
Oh sun awake in the covered sky,
   For the man I love, loves me I . . .

Oh drifting steam disperse and die,
   Oh tower stand shrouded toward the south, --
Fate heard afar my happy cry,
   And laid her finger on my mouth.


The dusk was blue with blowing mist,
   The lights were spangles in a veil,
And from the clamor far below
   Floated faint music like a wail.

It voiced what I shall never speak,
   My heart was breaking all night long,
But when the dawn was hard and gray,
   My tears distilled into a song.


I said, "I have shut my heart
   As one shuts an open door,
That Love may starve therein
   And trouble me no more."

But over the roofs there came
   The wet new wind of May,
And a tune blew up from the curb
   Where the street-pianos play.

My room was white with the sun
   And Love cried out in me,
"I am strong, I will break your heart
   Unless you set me free."


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. I shall not care [sung text not yet checked]

When I am dead and over me bright April
      Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
Tho' you should lean above me broken-hearted,
      I shall not care.

I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful
      When rain bends down the bough,
And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
      Than you are now.


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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Song [sung text not yet checked]

Love me with your whole heart
      Or give no love to me,

Half-love is a poor thing,
      Neither bond nor free.

You must love me gladly
      Soul and body too,

Or else find a new love,
      And good-by to you.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]