Simple songs

Song Cycle by Leonard J[ordan] Lehrman (b. 1949)

Word count: 174

1. Simple song [sung text checked 1 time]

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]1?
  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!]2

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

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

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

2. Advice to Virgins [sung text checked 1 time]

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And [this]1 same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

[The]2 glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,
The higher he's a-getting
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
[But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times, still succeed the former. ]3

Then be not coy, but use your time;
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

Authorship

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

  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Alfredo García) , "A las vírgenes, para que aprovechen el tiempo", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Lawes: "that"
2 Dring: "That"
3 Lawes: "Expect not the last and worst, / Time still succeeds the former."

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]