Six Romantic Songs

Song Cycle by Joseph Holbrooke (1878 - 1958)

1. A lake and a fairy boat [sung text not yet checked]

A lake and a fairy boat
To sail in the moonlight clear, -
And merrily we would float 
From the dragons that watch us here!

Thy gown should be snow-white silk,
And strings of orient pearls,
Like [gossamers]1 dipp'd in milk,
Should twine with thy raven curls!

Red rubies should deck thy hands,
And diamonds should be thy dow'r -
But Fairies have broke their wands,
And wishing has lost its pow'r!

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1 Warlock: "gossamer"

Researcher for this text: David K. Smythe

2. To a cold beauty [sung text not yet checked]

Lady, wouldst thou heiress be
To Winter's cold and cruel part?
When he sets the rivers free,
Thou dost still lock up thy heart; --
Thou that shouldst outlast the snow
But in the whiteness of thy brow?

Scorn and cold neglect are made
For winter gloom and winter wind,
But thou wilt wrong the summer air,
Breathing it to words unkind, --
Breath which only should belong
To love, to sunlight, and to song!

When the little buds unclose,
Red, and white, and pied, and blue
And that virgin flower, the rose,
Opes her heart to hold the dew,
Wilt thou lock thy bosom up
With no jewel in its cup?

Let not cold December sit
Thus in Love's peculiar throne; --
Brooklets are not prisoned now,
But crystal frosts are all agone,
And, that which hangs upon the spray,
It is no snow, but flower of May!

Authorship:

First published in London Magazine, 1823, with the author given as "T"
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Come not, when I am dead [sung text not yet checked]

Come not, when I am dead,
To drop thy foolish tears upon my grave,
To trample [round]1 my fallen head,
And vex the unhappy dust thou wouldst not save.
There let the wind sweep and the plover cry;
But thou, go by.

Child, if it were thine error or thy crime
I care no longer, being all unblest:
Wed whom thou wilt, but I am sick of Time,
And I desire to rest.
Pass on, weak heart, and leave me where I lie:
Go by, go by.

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1 Rogers: "on"

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

4. To my wife [sung text not yet checked]

Think, sweetest, if my lids are now not wet,
  The tenderest tears lie ready at the brim,
  To see thine own dear eyes -- so pale and dim -- 
Touching my soul with full and fond regret,
For on thy ease my heart's whole care is set;
  Seeing I love thee in no passionate whim,
  Whose summer dates but with the rose's trim,
Which one hot June can perish and beget, -- 
Ah no, I chose thee for affection's pet,
  For unworn love, and constant cherishing -- 
To smile but to thy smile -- or else to fret
  When thou art fretted -- rather than to sing
Elsewhere, -- alas! I ought to soothe and kiss
Thy dear pale cheek, while I assure thee this!

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. A farewell [sung text not yet checked]

Flow down, cold rivulet, to the sea,
Thy tribute wave deliver:
No more by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.

Flow, softly flow, by lawn and lea,
A rivulet then a river;
No where by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.

But here will sigh thine alder tree,
And here thine aspen shiver;
And here by thee will hum the bee,
For ever and for ever.

A thousand suns will stream on thee,
A thousand moons will quiver;
But not by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. The stars [sung text not yet checked]

The stars are with the voyager
Wherever he may sail;
The moon is constant to her time;
The sun will never fail;
But follow, follow round the world,
The green earth and the sea;
So love is with the lover's heart,
Wherever he may be.

Wherever he may be, the stars
Must daily lose their light;
The moon will veil her in the shade;
The sun will set at night.
The sun may set, but constant love
Will shine when he's away;
So that dull night is never night,
And day is brighter day.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Total word count: 616