Three Epitaphs from the Greek: Anthology for Baritone

Song Cycle by John Woods Duke (1899 - 1984)

Word count: 0

1. An inscription by the sea [sung text not yet checked]

No dust have I to cover me,
My grave no man may show;
My tomb is this unending sea,
And I lie far below.
My fate, O stranger, was to drown;
And where it was the ship went down
Is what the sea-birds know.

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

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Una iscrizione", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Undying thirst [sung text not yet checked]

This rudely sculptur'd porter-pot
Denotes where sleeps a female sot
Who pass'd her life, good easy soul!
In sweetly chirping o'er her bowl.
Not for her friends or children dear
She mourns -- but only for her beer.
E'en in the very grave, they say,
She thirsts for drink to wet her clay;
And, faith, she thinks it very wrong
This jug should stand unfill'd so long.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. A happy man [sung text not yet checked]

When these graven lines you see,
Traveler, do not pity me;
Though I be among the dead,
Let no mournful word be said.

Children that I leave behind,
And their children, all were kind;
Near to them and to my wife,
I was happy all my life.

My three sons I married right,
And their sons I rocked at night;
Death nor sorrow ever brought
Cause for one unhappy thought.

Now, and with no need of tears,
Here they leave me, full of years, --
Leave me to my quiet rest
In the region of the blest.

Authorship

Based on

See other settings of this text.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]