Song's Eternity

What is song's eternity?
Come and see.
Can it noise and bustle be?
Come and see.
Praises sung or praises said
Can it be?
Wait awhile and these are dead -
Sigh, sigh;
Be they high or lowly bred
They die.

What is song's eternity?
Come and see.
Melodies of earth and sky,
Here they be.
Song once sung to Adam's ears
Can it be?
Ballads of six thousand years
Thrive, thrive;
Songs awaken with the spheres
Alive.

Mighty songs that miss decay,
What are they?


Sea Ballad - From

“How many?” said our good Captain.
“Twenty sail and more.”
We were homeward bound,
Scudding in a gale with our jib towards the Nore.
Right athwart our tack,
The foe came thick and black,
Like Hell-birds and foul weather—you might count them by the score.

The Betsy Jane did slack
To see the game in view.
They knew the Union-Jack,
And the tyrant’s flag we knew!
Our Captain shouted “Clear the decks!” and the Bo’sun’s whistle blew.

Then our gallant Captain,
With his hand he seiz’d the wheel,


Rudiger - A Ballad

Author Note: Divers Princes and Noblemen being assembled in a beautiful and fair
Palace, which was situate upon the river Rhine, they beheld a boat or
small barge make toward the shore, drawn by a Swan in a silver chain,
the one end fastened about her neck, the other to the vessel; and in it
an unknown soldier, a man of a comely personage and graceful presence,
who stept upon the shore; which done, the boat guided by the Swan left
him, and floated down the river. This man fell afterward in league with


Repeat That, Repeat

Repeat that, repeat,
Cuckoo, bird, and open ear wells, heart-springs, delightfully sweet,
With a ballad, with a ballad, a rebound
Off trundled timber and scoops of the hillside ground, hollow hollow hollow ground:
The whole landscape flushes on a sudden at a sound.


Prelude

To smite Apollo's lyre I am unable;
Of loveliness, alas! I cannot sing.
My lot it i, across the tavern table,
To start a chorus to the strumming string.
I have no gift to touch your heart to pity;
I have no power to ring the note of pain:
All I can do is pipe a pot-house ditty,
Or roar a Rabelaisian refrain.

Behold yon minstrel of the empty belly,
Who seeks to please the bored and waiting throng,
Outside the Opera with ukulele,
And raucous strains of syncopated song.


Polonius and the Ballad Singers

A gaunt built woman and her son-in-law—
A broad-faced fellow, with such flesh as shows
Nothing but easy nature—and his wife,
The woman’s daughter, who spills all her talk
Out of a wide mouth, but who has eyes as gray
As Connemara, where the mountain-ash
Shows berries red indeed: they enter now—
Our country singers!
“Sing, my good woman, sing us some romance
That has been round your chimney-nooks so long
’Tis nearly native; something blown here
And since made racy—like yon tree, I might say,


Ode to the Cambro-Britons and their Harp, His Ballad of Agi

Fair stood the wind for France,
When we our sails advance;
Nor now to prove our chance
Longer will tarry;
But putting to the main,
At Caux, the mouth of Seine,
With all his martial train
Landed King Harry.

And taking many a fort,
Furnish'd in warlike sort,
Marcheth towards Agincourt
In happy hour;
Skirmishing day by day
With those that stopp'd his way,
Where the French gen'ral lay
With all his power.


Night Thought

The world around is sleeping,
The stars are bright o'erhead,
The shades of myalls weeping
Upon the sward are spread;
Among the gloomy pinetops
The fitful breezes blow,
And their murmurs seem the music
Of a song of long ago;
Soft, passionate, and wailing
Is the tender old refrain -
With a yearning unavailing -
"Will he no come back again?"

The camp-fire sparks are flying
Up from the pine-log's glow,
The wandering wind is sighing
That ballad sweet and low;


Never for Society

746

Never for Society
He shall seek in vain—
Who His own acquaintance
Cultivate—Of Men
Wiser Men may weary—
But the Man within

Never knew Satiety—
Better entertain
Than could Border Ballad—
Or Biscayan Hymn—
Neither introduction
Need You—unto Him—


Mary - A Ballad

Author Note: The story of the following ballad was related to me, when a school boy, as a fact which had really happened in the North of England. I have
adopted the metre of Mr. Lewis's Alonzo and Imogene--a poem deservedly
popular.


I.

Who is she, the poor Maniac, whose wildly-fix'd eyes
Seem a heart overcharged to express?
She weeps not, yet often and deeply she sighs,
She never complains, but her silence implies
The composure of settled distress.


II.


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