Five Millay Songs

Song Cycle by H. Leslie Adams (b. 1932)

Word count: 341

1. Wild Swans [sung text not yet checked]

I looked in my heart [while]1 the wild swans went over.
And what did I see I had not seen before?
Only a question less or a question more:
Nothing to match the flight of wild birds flying.

Tiresome heart, forever living and dying,
House without air, I leave you and lock your door.
Wild swans, come over the town, come over
The town again, trailing your legs and crying!

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1 Steele: "when"

Researcher for this text: Victoria Brago

2. Branch by Branch [sung text checked 1 time]

Branch by branch this tree has died.
Green only is one last bough
Moving its leaves in the sun.
What evil ate its root,
What blight,
What ugly thing?
Let the mole say,
The bird sing,
Or the white worm behind the shedding bark
Tick in the dark.
You and I have only one thing to do,
Saw, saw, saw the trunk through.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. For you there is no song [sung text checked 1 time]

For you there is no song,
Only the shaking of the voice that meant to sing,
The sound of the strong voice breaking.
Strange in my hand appears the pen,
And yours broken
There are ink and tears on the page.
Only the tears have spoken.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. The return from town [sung text not yet checked]

As I sat down by Saddle Stream
To bathe my dusty feet there,
A boy was standing on the bridge
Any girl would meet there.

As I went over Woody Knob
And dipped into the Hollow,
A youth was coming up the hill
Any maid would follow.

Then in I turned at my own gate, -
And nothing to be sad for -
To such a man as any wife
Would pass a pretty lad for.

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

5. Gone Again is Summer the Lovely [sung text not yet checked]

Gone, gone again is Summer the lovely,
She that knew not where to hide
Is gone again like a jewelled fish from the hand,
Is lost on ev'ry side.

Mute, mute I make my way to the garden,
Thither where she last was seen;
The heavy foot of the frost is on the flags there
Where her light step has been.

Gone, gone again is Summer the lovely,
Gone again on ev'ry side,
Lost again, like a shining fish from the hand
Into the shadowy tide.

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry