Six Country Songs

Song Cycle by Christopher Kaye Le Fleming (b. 1908)

Word count: 593

?. Afterwards [sung text not yet checked]

When the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay,
    And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings, 
Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say,
    "He was a man who used to notice such things"?

If it be in the dusk when, like an eyelid's soundless blink,
    The dewfall-hawk comes crossing the shades to alight 
Upon the wind-warped upland thorn, a gazer may think,
    "To him this must have been a familiar sight."

If I pass during some nocturnal blackness, mothy and warm,
    When the hedgehog travels furtively over the lawn, 
One may say, "He strove that such innocent creatures should come to no harm,
    But he could do little for them; and now he is gone."

If, when hearing that I have been stilled at last, they stand at the door,
    Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees, 
Will this thought rise on those who will meet my face no more,
    "He was one who had an eye for such mysteries"?

And will any say when my bell of quittance is heard in the gloom,
    And a crossing breeze cuts a pause in its outrollings, 
Till they rise again, as they were a new bell's boom,
    "He hears it not now, but used to notice such things"?

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Waiting both [sung text not yet checked]

A star looks down at me,
And says: "Here I and you
Stand, each in our degree:
What do you mean to do, -
  Mean to do?"

I say: "For all I know,
Wait, and let Time go by,
Till my change come." - "Just so,"
The star says: "So mean I: -
  So mean I."

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

First published in London Mercury November 1924

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. When I set out for Lyonnesse [sung text not yet checked]

 When I set out for Lyonnesse,
   A hundred miles away,
   The rime was on the spray,
 And starlight lit my lonesomeness
 When I set out for Lyonnesse
   A hundred miles away.

 What would bechance at Lyonnesse
   While I should sojourn there
   No prophet durst declare,
 Nor did the wisest wizard guess
 What would bechance at Lyonnesse
   While I should sojourn there.

 When I came back from Lyonnesse
   With magic in my eyes,
   [None managed to surmise
 What meant my godlike gloriousness]1,
 When I came back from Lyonnesse
   With magic in my eyes!

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 There seem to be two versions of this poem. Finzi and the other version: "All marked with mute surmise / My radiance rare and fathomless" ; Gibbs mixes them: "All marked with mute surmise / What meant my godlike gloriousness"

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

?. Weathers [sung text not yet checked]

 This is the weather the cuckoo likes,
	And so do I;
 When showers betumble the chestnut spikes,
	And nestlings fly;
 And the little brown nightingale bills his best,
 And they sit outside at "The Traveller's Rest",
 And maids come forth sprig-muslin drest,
 And citizens dream of the south and west,
	And so do I.

 This is the weather the shepherd shuns,
	And so do I;
 When beeches drip in browns and duns,
	And thresh and ply;
 And hill-hid tides throb, throe on throe,
 And meadow rivulets overflow,
 And drops on gate bars hang in a row,
 And rooks in families homeward go,
	And so do I.

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First published in Good Housekeeping, London, May 1922

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

?. Her song [sung text not yet checked]

I sang that song on Sunday,
	To which an idle while,
I sang that song on Monday,
	As fittest to beguile:
I sang it as the year outwore,
	And the new slid in;
I thought not what might shape before
	Another would begin.

I sang that song in summer,
	All unforeknowingly,
To him as a new-comer
	From regions strange to me:
I sang it when in afteryears
	The shades stretched out,
And paths were faint; and flocking fears
	Brought cup-eyed care and doubt.

Sings he that song on Sundays
	In some dim land afar,
On Saturdays, or Mondays,
	As when the evening star
Glimpsed in upon his bending face,
	And my hanging hair,
And time untouched me with a trace
	Of soul-smart or despair?

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry