Symphony on Poems of William Blake

Song Cycle by Ben Brian Weber (1916 - 1979)

Word count: 451

1. To Autumn  [sung text not yet checked]

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers. 

The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust'ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather'd clouds strew flowers round her head.

The spirits of the air live on the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees."
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat;
Then rose, girded himself, and o'er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Jeseni"
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Dem Herbste", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "К Осени", first published 1979, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Never seek to tell thy love  [sung text not yet checked]

Never [seek]1 to tell thy love 
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind does move
Silently, invisibly.

I told my love, I told my love,
I told her all my heart,
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears --
Ah, she doth depart.

Soon as she was gone from me
A traveller came by
Silently, invisibly --
[He took her with a sigh.]2

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 alternatively, "pain" (Baker, Hagen and possibly some others)
2 ? : "O, was no deny."

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Mad song  [sung text not yet checked]

The wild winds weep
  And the night is a-cold;
Come hither, Sleep,
  And my griefs [infold]1:
But lo! the morning peeps
  Over the eastern steeps,
And the rustling birds of dawn
  The earth do scorn. 

Lo! to the vault
  Of paved heaven,
With sorrow fraught
  My notes are driven:
They strike the ear of night,
  Make weep the eyes of day;
They make mad the roaring winds,
  And with tempests play. 

Like a fiend in a cloud,
  With howling woe,
After night I do crowd,
  And with night will go;
I turn my back to the east,
From whence comforts have increas'd;
For light doth seize my brain
With frantic pain.

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

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

View original text (without footnotes)
Note: said to have been written by Blake at the age of fourteen.
First published in Poetical Sketches, 1783
1 first published as "unfold" (Mitchell uses "unfold"); later changed to "infold"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. To Spring [sung text not yet checked]

O Thou with dewy locks, who lookest down
Thro' the clear windows of the morning, turn
Thine angel eyes upon our western isle,
Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring! 

The hills tell each other, and the list'ning
Valleys hear; all our longing eyes are turned
Up to thy bright pavilions: issue forth,
And let thy holy feet visit our clime.

Come o'er the eastern hills, and let our winds
Kiss thy perfumed garments; let us taste
Thy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearls
Upon our love-sick land that mourns for thee.

O deck her forth with thy fair fingers; pour
Thy soft kisses on her bosom; and put
Thy golden crown upon her languish'd head,
Whose modest tresses were bound up for thee.

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

  • CZE Czech (Čeština) (Jaroslav Vrchlický) , "Jaru"
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Dir, Lenz", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "К Весне", first published 1979, copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]