Four Songs of Love and Loss
I. Memory – William Browne (1692-1774)
So shuts the marigold her leaves
At the departure of the sun;
So from the honeysuckle sheaves
The bee goes when the day is done;
So sits the turtle when she is but one,
And so all woe, as I since she is gone.
To some few birds kind Nature hath
Made all the summer as one day:
Which once enjoy’d, cold winter’s wrath
As night they sleeping pass away.
Those happy creatures are, that know not yet
The pain to be deprived or to forget.
I oft have heard men say there be
Some that with confidence profess
The helpful Art of Memory:
But could they teach Forgetfulness,
I’d learn; and try what further art could do
To make me love her and forget her too.
II. False though She be – William Congreve (1670-1729)
False though she be to me and love,
I’ll ne’er pursue revenge;
For still the charmer I approve,
Though I deplore her change.
In hours of bliss we oft have met:
They could not always last;
And though the present I regret,
I’m grateful for the past.
III. Love and Life: a Song – John Wilmot (1647-1680)
All my past life is mine noe more
The flying Houres are gon
Like transitory Dreames giv’n ore
Whose Images are kept in Store
By Memory alone.
What ever is to come is not
How can it then be mine,
The present Moment’s all my Lott
And that as fast as it is got
Phillis is wholy thine.
Then talke not of Inconstancy,
False Hearts, and broken Vows,
If I, by Miracle can be,
This live-long Minute true to thee,
Tis all that Heav’n allows.
IV. Song – John Clare (1793-1864)
I hid my love when young while I
Coud’nt bear the buzzing of a flye
I hid my love to my despite
Till I could not bear to look at light
I dare not gaze upon her face
But left her memory in each place
Where ere I saw a wild flower lye
I kissed and bade my love good bye
I met her in the greenest dells
Where dew drops pearl the wood blue bells
The lost breeze kissed her bright blue eye
The Bee kissed and went singing bye
A sun beam found a passage there
A gold chain round her neck so fair
As secret as the wild bees song
She lay there all the summer long
I hid my love in field and town
Till e’en the breeze would knock me down
The Bees seemed singing ballads oe’r
The flyes buzz turned a Lions roar
And even silence found a tongue
To haunt me all the summer long
The Riddle nature could not prove
Was nothing else but secret love
I. Summer – Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)
Winter is cold-hearted
Spring is yea and nay,
Autumn is a weather-cock
Blown every way:
Summer days for me
When every leaf is on its tree;
When Robin’s not a beggar,
And Jenny Wren’s a bride,
And larks hang singing, singing, singing,
Over the wheat-fields wide,
And anchored lilies ride,
And the pendulum spider
Swings from side to side,
And blue-black beetles transact business,
And gnats fly in a host,
And furry caterpillars hasten
That no time be lost,
And moths grow fat and thrive,
And ladybirds arrive.
Before green apples blush,
Before green nuts embrown,
Why, one day in the country
Is worth a month in town;
Is worth a day and a year
Of the dusty, musty, lag-last fashion
That days drone elsewhere.
II. The Fly – William Blake (1757-1827)
Thy summer’s play
My thoughtless hand
Has brushed away.
Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?
For I dance
And drink and sing,
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.
If thought is life
And strength and breath,
And the want
Of thought is death,
Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.
III. I love to see the summer beaming forth – John Clare (1793-1864)
I love to see the summer beaming forth
And white wool sack clouds sailing to the north
I love to see the wild flowers come again
And mare blobs stain with gold the meadow drain
And water lilies whiten on the floods
Where reed clumps rustle like a wind shook wood
Where from her hiding place the Moor Hen pushes
And seeks her flag nest floating in bull rushes
I like the willow leaning half way o’er
The clear deep lake to stand upon its shore
I love the hay grass when the flower head swings
To summer winds and insects happy wings
That sport about the meadow the bright day
And see bright beetles in the clear lake play