Two Settings of Poems by William Blake

Song Cycle by Ernst Křenek (1900 - 1991)

1. I ask'd a thief [sung text not yet checked]

I asked a thief to steal me a peach:
He turned up his eyes.
I ask'd a lithe lady to lie her down:
Holy and meek, she cries.

As soon as I went
An Angel came:
He wink'd at the thief,
And smil'd at the dame;

And without one word [said]1
Had a peach from the tree,
[And still as a maid]2
Enjoy'd the lady.

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1 Mitchell: "spoke"
2 Mitchell: "And between earnest and joke"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. I heard an Angel [sung text not yet checked]

I heard an Angel singing 
When the day was springing,
"Mercy, Pity, Peace
Is the world's release."
Thus he sung all day
Over the new mown hay,
Till the sun went down
And haycocks looked brown.
I heard a Devil curse
Over the heath and the furze,
"Mercy could be no more,
If there was nobody poor,
And pity no more could be,
If all were as happy as we."
At his curse the sun went down,
And the heavens gave a frown.
Down pour'd the heavy rain
Over the new reap'd grain ...
And Miseries' increase
Is Mercy, Pity, Peace.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Total word count: 166