29 May 2007

from Guy and Pauline, part III, Spring: May (Compton Mackenzie)

It was after dawn when Guy woke, for he had fallen asleep very tired after his week on the river; still it was scarcely six when he came down into the orchard, and the birds were singing as Guy thought he had never heard them sing before. The apple-trees were already frilled with a foam of blossom; and on quivering boughs linnets with breasts rose-burnt by the winds of March throbbed our their carol. Chaffinches with flashing prelude of silver wings flourished a burst of song that broke as with too intolerable a triumph: then sought another tree and poured forth the triumphant song again. Thrushes, blackbirds and warblers quired deep-throated melodies against the multitudinous trebles of those undistinguished myriads that with choric paean saluted May; and on sudden diminuendoes could be heard the rustling canzonets of the goldfinches, rising and falling with reedy cadences.

20 May 2007

Geistliches Lied (Paul Flemming, trans. anon.)

Lass dich nur nichts nicht dauren
Mit Trauren,
Sei stille,
Wie Gott es fügt,
So sei vergnügt,
Mein Wille.

Was willst du heute sorgen
Auf morgen?
Der Eine
Steht allem für,
Der gibt auch dir
Das Deine.

Sei nur in allem Handel
Ohn' Wandel,
Steh' feste,
Was Gott beschleusst,
Das ist und heisst
Das Beste.


Do not be sorrowful or regretful; be calm, as God has ordained, and thus my will shall be content.

What do you want to worry about from day to day? There is One who stands above all who gives you, too, what is yours.

Only be steadfast in all you do, stand firm; what God has decided, that is and must be the best.

19 May 2007

Song from The Princess (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

Ask me no more: the moon may draw the sea;
The cloud may stoop from heaven and take the shape,
With fold to fold, of mountain or of cape;
But O too fond, when have I answer'd thee?
Ask me no more.

Ask me no more: what answer should I give?
I love not hollow cheek or faded eye:
Yet, O my friend, I will not have thee die!
Ask me no more, lest I should bid thee live;
Ask me no more.

Ask me no more: thy fate and mine are seal'd.
I strove against the stream and all in vain:
Let the great river take me to the main:
No more, dear love, for at a touch I yield;
Ask me no more.

01 May 2007

May-Day Song for North Oxford [Annie Laurie Tune] (John Betjeman)

Belbroughton Road is bonny, and pinkly bursts the spray
Of prunus and forsythia across the public way,
For a full spring-tide of blossom seethed and departed hence,
Leaving land-locked pools of jonquils by sunny garden fence.

And a constant sound of flushing runneth from windows where
The toothbrush too is airing in this new North Oxford air
From Summerfields to Lynam's, the thirsty tarmac dries,
And a Cherwell mist dissolveth on elm-discovering skies.

Oh! well-bound Wells and Bridges! Oh! earnest ethical search
For the wide high-table logos of St. C.S. Lewis's Church.
This diamond-eyed Spring morning my soul soars up the slope
Of a right good rough-cast buttress on the housewall of my hope.

And open-necked and freckled, where once there grazed the cows,
Emancipated children swing on old apple boughs,
And pastel-shaded book rooms bring New Ideas to birth
As the whitening hawthorn only hears the heart beat of the earth.