Twelve Songs

Song Cycle by Alfred Matthew Hale (1875 - 1960)

Word count: 775

1. My silks and fine array  [sung text not yet checked]

 My silks and fine array, 
 My smiles and languish'd air,
 By love are driv'n away;
 And mournful lean Despair
 Brings me yew to deck my grave:
 Such end true lovers have.

 His face is fair as heav'n,
 When springing buds unfold;
 O why to him was't giv'n,
 Whose heart is wintry cold?
 His breast is love's all worship'd tomb,
 Where all love's pilgrims come.

 Bring me an axe and spade,
 Bring me a winding sheet;
 When I my grave have made,
 Let winds and tempests beat:
 Then down I'll lie, as cold as clay,
 True love doth pass away! 

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. The shepherd [sung text not yet checked]

How sweet is the Shepherd's sweet lot!
   From the morn to the evening he strays;
He shall follow his sheep all the day,
   And his tongue shall be fillèd with praise.

For he hears the lamb's innocent call,
   And he hears the ewe's tender reply;
He is watchful [while]1 they are in peace,
   For they know when their Shepherd is nigh.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "El pastor", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Cooke: "when"

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

3. The fly  [sung text not yet checked]

Little Fly,
Thy summer's play
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand 
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath
And the want 
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "La mouche", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "Мотылёк", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Silent, silent Night [sung text not yet checked]

Silent, silent Night
Quench the holy light
Of thy torches bright.

For possess'd of Day
Thousand spirits stray
That sweet joys betray.

Why should joys be sweet
Used with deceit
Nor with sorrows meet?

But an honest joy
Does itself destroy
For a harlot coy.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Spring  [sung text not yet checked]

Sound the Flute!
Now [it's]1 mute.
Birds delight
Day and Night;
Nightingale
In the dale,
Lark in Sky,2
Merrily, Merrily, Merrily,
To welcome in the Year.

Little Boy,
Full of Joy;
Little Girl,
Sweet and small;
Cock does crow,
So do you;
Merry voice,
Infant noise;
Merrily, Merrily, 
To welcome in the Year.

Little Lamb,
Here I am;
Come and [lick
My white neck;]3
Let me pull
Your soft Wool;
Let me kiss
Your soft face;
Merrily, Merrily, 
[We]4 welcome in the Year.

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 MacNutt: "'tis"
2 Dougherty inserts "Out of sight" after this line
3 MacNutt: "play/ Hours away"
4 MacNutt: "To"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]

6. The wild flower's song [sung text not yet checked]

As I wander'd the forest,
The green leaves among,
I heard a wild flower
Singing a song:

"I slept in the dark
In the silent night,
I murmur'd my fears
And I felt delight.

"In the morning I went
As rosy as morn
To seek for a new Joy,
But I met with scorn."

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. The blossom [sung text not yet checked]

Merry, merry sparrow!
Under leaves so green
A happy blossom
Sees you, swift as arrow,
Seek your cradle narrow,
Near my bosom.

Pretty, pretty robin!
Under leaves so green
A happy blossom
Hears you sobbing, sobbing,
Pretty, pretty robin,
Near my bosom.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. Memory, hither come [sung text not yet checked]

Memory, hither come
  And tune your merry notes;
And while upon the wind
  Your music floats,

I'll pore upon the stream,
  Where sighing lovers dream,
And fish for fancies as they pass
  Within the watery glass.

I'll drink of the clear stream,
  And hear the linnet's song,
And there I'll lie and dream
  The day along;

And when night comes I'll go
  To places fit for woe,
Walking along the darkened valley,
  With silent melancholy.

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

9. I love the jocund dance  [sung text not yet checked]

I love the [jocund]1 dance, 
The softly breathing song, 
Where innocent eyes do glance,
[And]2 where lisps the maiden's tongue.  

I love the laughing vale, 
I love the echoing [hills]3, 
Where mirth does never fail, 
And the jolly swain laughs his fill. 

I love the pleasant cot,
I love the innocent bow'r,
Where white and brown is our lot,
Or fruit in the midday hour. 

I love the oaken seat,
Beneath the oaken tree,
Where all the [old]2 villagers meet,
And laugh [our]4 sports to see. 

I love our neighbors all,
But Kitty, I [better love thee]5;
And love them [I ever]6  shall;
But thou art all to me.

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Mitchell: "merry"
2 not set by Mitchell.
3 Mitchell: "hill"
4 Mitchell: "my"
5 Mitchell: "love thee more"
6 Mitchell: "ever I"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

10. Ah! sun-flower [sung text not yet checked]

Ah, Sun-flower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime,
Where the traveller's journey is done:

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves and aspire
Where my Sun-flower wishes to go.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Ah ! tournesol !", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Elisa Rapado) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

11. The lily [sung text not yet checked]

The modest rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble sheep a threatening horn, 
While the lily white shall in love delight, 
Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

12. My pretty rose tree [sung text not yet checked]

A flower was offered to me;
Such a flower as May never bore.
But I said I've a Pretty Rose-tree!
And I passed the sweet flower o'er.

Then I went to my Pretty Rose-tree;
To tend her by day and by night.
But my Rose turnd away with jealousy:
And her thorns were my only delight.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]