There bloomed [by]1 my cottage door A rose with a heart scented sweet, O so lovely and fair that I plucked it one day, Laid it over my own heart's [quick]2 beat. In a moment its petals were shed: Just a tiny white mound at my feet. There flew through my casements low A linnet [who]3 richly could sing. Sang so thrillingly sweet I could not let it go But must cage it, the [glad, pretty]4 thing. But it [died]5 in the cage I had made, Not a note to my chamber would bring. There came to my lonely soul [A]6 friend I had waited for long, And the deep chilly silence lay stricken and dead, Pierc'd to death by our love and our song. And I thought [on]7 the bird and the flow'r And my soul in its knowledge grew strong. Go out when thou wilt, O friend; -- Sing thy song, roam the world glad and free ; By the holding I lose; by the giving I gain, And the gods cannot take thee from me ; For a song and a scent on the wind Shall drift in through the doorway from thee.
1 Smyth: "at"
2 Smyth: "swift"
3 Smyth: "that"
4 Smyth: "wild, happy"
5 Smyth: "pined"
6 Smyth: "The"
7 Smyth: "of"
- by Ethel Carnie Holdsworth (1886 - 1962), as Ethel Carnie, "Possession", appears in Songs of a Factory Girl, first published 1911 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Ethel Mary Smyth, Dame (1858 - 1944), "Possession", 1913, published 1913 [ mezzo-soprano or baritone and orchestra ], from Three songs, no. 2, Leipzig: Universal Edition  [sung text checked 1 time]
Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:
- Also set in English, a translation by Rudolf Stephan Hoffmann (1878 - 1931) ; composed by Ethel Mary Smyth, Dame.
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 195