English Lyrics, Ninth Set

by Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, Sir (1848 - 1918)

Word count: 596

1. Three aspects [sung text checked 1 time]

Some showed me Life as 'twere a royal game, 
Shining in every colour of the sun, 
With prizes to be played for, one by one, 
Love, riches, fame. 

Some showed me Life as 'twere a terrible fight, 
A ceasless striving 'gainst unnumbered foes, 
A battle ever harder to the close, 
Ending in night. 

Thou - Thou dids't make of Life a vision deep 
Of the deep happiness the spirit feels 
When heavenly music Heaven itself reveals 
And passions sleep.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: John Fowler

2. A fairy town [sung text checked 1 time]

While the sun was going down, 
There arose a fairy town. 
Not the town I saw by day, 
Cheerless, joyless, dull and gray, 
But a far, fantastic place, 
Builded with ethereal grace, 
Shimmering in a tender mist 
That the slanting rays had kissed 
Ere they let their latest fire 
Touch with gold each slender spire.
There no men and women be:
Mermen, maidens of the sea, 
Combing out their tangled locks, 
Sit and sing amound the rocks. 
As their ruddy harps they sound 
With the seaweed twisted round, 
In the shining sand below 
See the city downward go!

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Researcher for this text: John Fowler

3. The witches' wood [sung text checked 1 time]

There was a wood, a witches' wood, 
  All the trees therein were pale; 
They bore no branches green and good 
  But as it were a gray nun's veil. 

They talked and chattered in the wind 
  From morning dawn to set of sun, 
Like men and women that have sinned, 
  Whose thousand evil tongues are one. 

Their roots were like the hands of men, 
  Grown hard and brown with clutching gold, 
Their foliage women's tresses when 
  The hair is withered, thin and old. 

There never did a sweet bird sing. 
  For happy love about his nest. 
The clustered bats on evil wing 
  Each hollow trunk and bough possessed. 

And in the midst a pool there lay 
  Of water white, as tho' a scare 
Had frightened off the eye of day 
  And kept the Moon reflected there.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: John Fowler

4. Whether I live [sung text checked 1 time]

Whether I live, or whether I die,
  Whatever the worlds I see,
I shall come to you by-and-by,
  And you will come to me.

Whoever was foolish, we were wise,
  We crossed the boundary line,
I saw my soul look out of your eyes,
  You saw your soul in mine.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: John Fowler

5. Armida's garden [sung text checked 1 time]

I have been there before thee, O my love!
Each winding way I know and all the flowers,
The shadowy cypress trees, the twilight grove,
Where rest, in fragrant sleep, the enchanted hours.
I have been there before thee. At the end
There stands a gate through which thou too must pass.
When thou shalt reach it, God in mercy send
Thou say no bitterer word, love, than "Alas!"

Authorship

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Sílvia Pujalte Piñán) , "El jardí d'Armida", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. The maiden [sung text checked 1 time]

Who was this that came by the way, 
  When the flowers were springing? 
She bore in her hair the buds of May, 
  And a bird on her shoulder, singing.

A girdle of the fairest green 
  Her slender waist confined, 
And such a flame was never seen 
  As in her eyes there shined. 

By the way she came, that way she went, 
  And took the sunlight with her. 
The May of life shall all be spent 
  Ere she again come hither!

Authorship

Researcher for this text: John Fowler

7. There [sung text checked 1 time]

There, in that other world, what waits for me?
What shall I find after that other birth?
No stormy, tossing, foaming, smiling sea,
But a new earth.

No sun to mark the changing of the days,
No slow, soft falling of the alternate night,
No moon, no star, no light upon my ways,
Only the Light.

No gray cathedral, wide and wondrous fair,
That I may tread where all my fathers trod.
Nay, nay, my soul, no house of God is there,
But only God.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]