Four Songs from Love's Labours Lost

Song Cycle by Gerald Finzi (1901 - 1956)

Word count: 318

1. When daisies pied [sung text checked 1 time]

When daisies pied and violets blue
 [And lady-smocks all silver white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue,]1
  Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo, then on ev'ry tree
Mocks married men, for thus sings he,
  Cuckoo,
Cuckoo, cuckoo: o word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear.

When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
  And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
[When]2 turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
  And maidens bleach their summer [smocks]3,
The cuckoo, then on ev'ry tree
Mocks married men, for thus sings he,
  Cuckoo,
Cuckoo, cuckoo: o word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear.

Authorship

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

  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Kevät", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (François-Victor Hugo)
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist) , "Lied. Der Frühling", first published 1870
  • NOR Norwegian (Bokmål) (Arild Bakke) , "Når spraglet tusenfryd", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Stravinsky: reversed.
2 Arne: "And"
3 Arne: "frocks"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. When icicles hang by the wall [sung text checked 1 time]

When icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail;
When blood is nipt and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl:
Tu-who! 
Tu-whit! Tu-who! -- A merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw;
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl
Then nightly sings the staring owl:
Tu-who! 
Tu-whit! Tu-who! -- A merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

Authorship

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

Researcher for this text: Clive Robinson

3. If she be made of white and red [sung text checked 1 time]

If she be made of white and red,
Her faults will ne'er be known,
For blushing cheeks by faults are bred
And fears by pale white shown:
Then if she fear, or be to blame,
By this you shall not know,
For still her cheeks possess the same
Which native she doth owe. 
A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of
white and red.

Authorship

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. False Concolinel [sung text checked 1 time]

Is it not sure a deadly pain, 
To you I say that lovers be, 
When faithful hearts must needs refrain 
The one the other for to see? 
I you assure, ye may trust me,
Of all the pains that ever I knew
It is a pain that most I rue.

Authorship

Research team for this text: Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor] , Mike Pearson