Love's Whimsy

Song Cycle by Jean Mary Anderson (b. 1939)

Word count: 231

1. The constant lover [sung text checked 1 time]

Out upon it, I have loved
  Three whole days together!
And am like to love three more,
  If it prove fair weather.
 
Time shall moult away his wings
  Ere he shall discover
In the whole wide world again
  Such a constant lover.
 
But the spite on 't is, no praise
  Is due at all to me: 
Love with me had made no stays,
  Had it any been but she.
 
Had it any been but she,
  And that very face,
There had been at least ere this
  A dozen dozen in her place.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Never seek to tell thy love [sung text not yet checked]

Never [seek]1 to tell thy love 
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind does move
Silently, invisibly.

I told my love, I told my love,
I told her all my heart,
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears --
Ah, she doth depart.

Soon as she was gone from me
A traveller came by
Silently, invisibly --
[He took her with a sigh.]2

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 alternatively, "pain" (Baker, Hagen and possibly some others)
2 ? : "O, was no deny."

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Why so pale and wan, fond lover? [sung text not yet checked]

Why so pale and wan, fond lover?
  Prithee, why so pale?
Will, when looking well can't move her,
  Looking ill prevail?
  Prithee, why so pale?

Why so dull and mute, young sinner?
  Prithee, why so mute?
Will, when speaking well can't win her,
  Saying nothing do't?
  Prithee, why so mute?

Quit, quit for shame, this will not move,
  This cannot take her;
If of herself she will not love,
  Nothing can make her;
  [The devil take her!]1

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

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Britten: "Let who will take her!"

Research team for this text: Ted Perry , Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]