Five Flower Songs

Song Cycle by (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976)

Word count: 569

German (Deutsch) translation: Fünf Blumenlieder ( Bertram Kottmann)

1. To daffodils [sung text checked 1 time]

Fair daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon.
Stay, stay
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to [the]1 evensong,
And, having pray'd together, we	
Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.
We die,
As your hours [do,]2 and dry
Away,
Like to the summer's rain,
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Pauline Kroger) , "Aan de narcissen", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Narsisseille", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , "An Narzissen", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Darke.
2 omitted by Farrar.

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

2. The succession of the four sweet months [sung text checked 1 time]

First, April, she with mellow showers
Opens the way for early flowers,
Then after her comes smiling May
In a more rich and sweet array,
Next enters June and brings us more
Gems than those two that went before,
Then (lastly,) July comes and she
More wealth brings in than all those three;
April! May! June! July!

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Wijtse Rodenburg) , "April komt met haar milde regen", copyright © 2003, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Pauline Kroger) , "De opeenvolging van de vier zachte maanden", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Marsh flowers [sung text checked 1 time]

Here the strong mallow strikes her slimy root,
Here the dull night-shade hangs her deadly fruit;

On hills of dust the henbane's faded green,
And pencill'd flower of sickly scent is seen;

Here on its wiry stem, in rigid bloom,
Grows the salt lavender that lacks perfume.

At the wall's base the fiery nettle springs,
With fruit globose and fierce with poison'd stings;

In every chink delights the fern to grow,
With glossy leaf and tawny bloom below:

The few dull flowers that o'er the place are spread
Partake the nature of their fenny bed.

These, with our sea-weeds, rolling up and down,
Form the contracted Flora of our town.

Authorship

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Pauline Kroger) , "Moerasbloemen", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Marschblumen", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. The evening primrose [sung text checked 1 time]

When once the sun sinks in the west,
And dew-drops pearl the Evening's breast;
Almost as pale as moonbeams are,
Or its companionable star,
The Evening Primrose opes anew
Its delicate blossoms to the dew;
And hermit-like, shunning the light,
Wastes its fair bloom upon the Night;
Who, blindfold to its fond caresses,
Knows not the beauty he possesses.
Thus it blooms on while Night is by;
When Day looks out with open eye,
'Bashed at the gaze it cannot shun,
It faints, and withers, and is gone.

Authorship

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Pauline Kroger) , "De teunisbloem", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , "Nachtkerzen", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Confirmed with The Rural Muse : Poems by John Clare, London, Whittaker, 1835, page 137.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. The Ballad of Green Broom [sung text checked 1 time]

There was an old man lived out in the wood,
And his trade was a-cutting of broom, green broom,
He had but one son without thought without good
Who lay in his bed till 't was noon, bright noon.

The old man awoke one morning and spoke,
He swore he would fire the room, that room,
If his John would not rise and open his eyes,
And away to the wood to cut broom, green broom.

So Johnny arose and slipp'd on his clothes
And away to the wood to cut broom, green broom,
He sharpen'd his knives, and for once he contrives
To cut a great bundle of broom, green broom.

When Johnny pass'd under a Lady's fine house,
Pass'd under a Lady's fine room, fine room,
She call'd to her maid: "Go fetch me," she said,
"Go fetch me the boy that sells broom, green broom!"

When Johnny came into the Lady's fine house,
And stood in the Lady's fine room, fine room,
"Young Johnny" she said, "Will you give up your trade
And marry a lady in bloom, full bloom?"

Johnny gave his consent, and to church they both went,
And he wedded the Lady in bloom, full bloom;
At market and fair, all folks do declare,
There's none like the Boy that sold broom, green broom.

Authorship

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Wijtse Rodenburg) , "Brem, groene Brem...", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Die Ballade vom Besenginster", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]