From a very little sphinx

Set by Bernard Wagenaar (1894 - 1971), "From a very little sphinx", published 1926 [ soprano or mezzo-soprano and piano ]  [sung text not yet checked]

Note: this setting is made up of several separate texts.


Come along in then, little girl!
Or else stay out!
But in the open door she stands,
And bites her lip and twists her hands,
And stares upon me, trouble-eyed:
"Mother," she says, "I can't decide!
I can't decide!"

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Oh, burdock, and you other dock,
That have ground coffee for your seeds,
And lovely long thin daisies, dear -- 
She said that you were weeds!
She said, "Oh, what a fine bouquet!"
But afterwards I heard her say,
"She's always dragging in those weeds."

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Everybody but just me
Despises burdocks. Mother, she
Despises 'em the most because
They stick so to my socks and drawers.
But father, when he sits on some,
Can't speak a decent word for 'em.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]


I know a hundred ways to die.
I've often thought that I'd try one:
Lie down beneath a motor truck
Some day when standing by one.

Or throw myself from off a bridge -- 
Except such things must be
So hard upon the scavengers
And men that clean the sea.

I know some poison I could drink.
I've often thought I'd taste it.
But mother bought it for the sink,
And drinking it would waste it.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Look, Edwin! Do you see that boy
Talking to the other boy?
No, over there by the two men -- 
Wait, don't look now -- now look again.
No, not the one in navy-blue;
That's the one he's talking to.
Sure you see him? Stripèd pants?
Well, he was born in Paris, France.

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All the grown-up people say,
"What, those ugly thistles?
Mustn't touch them! Keep away!
Prickly! Full of bristles!"

Yet they never make me bleed
Half so much as roses!
Must be purple is a weed,
and pink and white is posies.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Wonder where this horseshoe went.
Up and down, up and down,
Up and past the monument,
Maybe into town.

Wait a minute. "Horseshoe,
How far have you been?"
Says it's been to Salem
And halfway to Lynn.

Wonder who was in the team.
Wonder what they saw.
Wonder if they passed a bridge -- 
Bridge with a draw.

Says it went from one bridge
Straight upon another.
Says it took a little girl
Driving with her mother.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]