Three Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley

Song Cycle by David Arditti (b. 1964)

Word count: 0

1. Love's philosophy [sung text checked 1 time]

The [fountains mingle]1 with the River 
  And the Rivers with the Ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
  With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
  All things by a law divine
In one [another's being]2 mingle.
  Why not I with thine? -

See the mountains kiss high Heaven
  And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
  If it disdained its brother;
And the [sunlight clasps]3 the earth
  And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What [are all these kissings]4 worth
  If thou kiss not me?

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

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Gounod: "fountain mingles"
2 Delius: "spirit meet and"
3 Gounod: "sunbeams clasp"
4 Delius: "is all this sweet work"; Gounod: "are all these kisses"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. To the Night [sung text checked 1 time]

 Swiftly walk over the western wave, 
     Spirit of Night! 
 Out of the misty eastern cave, 
   Where, all the long and lone daylight, 
 Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear 
 Which make thee terrible and dear, - 
     Swift be thy flight!

 Wrap thy form in a mantle grey 
     Star-inwrought! 
 Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day, 
   Kiss her until she be wearied out, 
 Then wander o'er city and sea, and land, 
 Touching all with thine opiate wand - 
     Come, long-sought!

 When I arose and saw the dawn, 
     I sigh'd for thee; 
 When light rode high, and the dew was gone, 
   And noon lay heavy on flower and tree, 
 And the weary Day turn'd to his rest, 
 Lingering like an unloved guest, 
     I sigh'd for thee.

 Thy brother Death came, and cried, 
     "Wouldst thou me?" 
 Thy sweet child Sleep, the filmy-eyed, 
   Murmur'd like a noontide bee, 
 "Shall I nestle near thy side?
 Wouldst thou me?" - And I replied, 
     "No, not thee!"

  Death will come when thou art dead, 
     Soon, too soon -
 Sleep will come when thou art fled; 
   Of neither would I ask the boon 
 I ask to thee, beloved Night -
 Swift be [thine]1 approaching flight,
     Come soon, soon!

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

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1 Maconchy: "thy"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Indian Serenade [sung text checked 1 time]

I arise from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night,
When the winds are breathing low,
And the stars are shining bright:
I arise from dreams of thee,
And a spirit in my feet
[Has]1 led me - who knows how?
To thy chamber window, Sweet!

The wandering airs they faint
On the dark, the silent stream -
The Champak odours fail
Like sweet thoughts in a dream;
The nightingale's complaint,
It dies upon her heart; -
As I must die on thine,
O belovèd as thou art!

Oh lift me from the grass!
I die! I faint! I fail!
Let thy love in kisses rain
On my lips and eyelids pale.
My cheek is cold and white, alas!
My heart beats loud and fast; -
Oh! press it to thine own again,
Where it will break at last.

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Řádky k indické melodii"
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Indische Serenade", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Delius: "Hath"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]