Five Madrigals

Song Cycle by Robin Holloway (b. 1943)

Word count: 348

1. Ecce puer [sung text not yet checked]

Of the dark past
A child is born;
With joy and grief
My heart is torn. 

Calm in his cradle
The living lies. 
May love and mercy
Unclose his eyes! 

Young life is breathed
On the glass;
The world that was not
Comes to pass. 

A child is sleeping:
An old man gone. 
O, father forsaken,
Fogive your son!

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First published in New Republic, November 1932

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Children's voices [sung text not yet checked]

Children's voices in the orchard
 [ ... ]

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This text may be copyright, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.
First published in Virginia Quarterly Review, April 1934 as one of "Words for Music"

3. Eyes that last I saw in tears [sung text not yet checked]

Eyes that last I saw in tears
Through division
Here in death's dream kingdom
The golden vision reappears
I see the eyes but not the tears
This is my affliction

This is my affliction
Eyes I shall not see again
Eyes of decision
Eyes I shall not see unless
At the door of death's other kingdom
Where, as in this,
The eyes outlast a little while
A little while outlast the tears
And hold us in derision.

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First published in Chapbook, November 1924, as one of "Doris' Dream Songs"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Voices of birds  [sung text not yet checked]

O quick quick quick, quick hear the song-sparrow
 [ ... ]

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This text may be copyright, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.
First published in Two Poems, 1935

5. Red river [sung text not yet checked]

Red river, red river
 [ ... ]

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This text may be copyright, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.
First published in Virginia Quarterly Review, April 1934 as one of "Words for Music"