From a Very Little Sphinx: Five Songs for Soprano or Mezzo-soprano

Song Cycle by John Woods Duke (1899 - 1984)

Word count: 282

1. I can't decide [sung text not yet checked]

Come along in then, little girl!
Or else stay out!
But in the open door she stands,
And bites her lip and twists her hands,
And stares upon me, trouble-eyed:
"Mother," she says, "I can't decide!
I can't decide!"

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2. Thistles and roses [sung text not yet checked]

All the grown-up people say,
"What, those ugly thistles?
Mustn't touch them! Keep away!
Prickly! Full of bristles!"

Yet they never make me bleed
Half so much as roses!
Must be purple is a weed,
and pink and white is posies.

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3. The horseshoe [sung text not yet checked]

Wonder where this horseshoe went.
Up and down, up and down,
Up and past the monument,
Maybe into town.

Wait a minute. "Horseshoe,
How far have you been?"
Says it's been to Salem
And halfway to Lynn.

Wonder who was in the team.
Wonder what they saw.
Wonder if they passed a bridge -- 
Bridge with a draw.

Says it went from one bridge
Straight upon another.
Says it took a little girl
Driving with her mother.

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4. Ways to die [sung text not yet checked]

I know a hundred ways to die.
I've often thought that I'd try one:
Lie down beneath a motor truck
Some day when standing by one.

Or throw myself from off a bridge -- 
Except such things must be
So hard upon the scavengers
And men that clean the sea.

I know some poison I could drink.
I've often thought I'd taste it.
But mother bought it for the sink,
And drinking it would waste it.

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5. Look, Edwin [sung text not yet checked]

Look, Edwin! Do you see that boy
Talking to the other boy?
No, over there by the two men -- 
Wait, don't look now -- now look again.
No, not the one in navy-blue;
That's the one he's talking to.
Sure you see him? Stripèd pants?
Well, he was born in Paris, France.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]