by James Joyce
||Strings in the earth and air
Make music sweet;
||The twilight turns from amethyst
To deep and deeper blue,
||At that hour when all things have repose,
O lonely watcher of the skies,
||When the shy star goes forth in heaven
All maidenly, disconsolate,
||Lean out of the window,
||I would in that sweet bosom be
(O sweet it is and fair it is!)
||My love is in a light attire
Among the apple-trees,
||Who goes amid the green wood
With springtide all adorning her?
||Winds of May, that dance on the sea,
- Dancing a ring-around in glee
||Bright cap and streamers,
He sings in the hollow:
||Bid adieu, adieu, adieu,
Bid adieu to girlish days,
||What counsel has the hooded moon
Put in thy heart, my shyly sweet,
||Go seek her out all courteously,
And say I come,
||My dove, my beautiful one,
||From dewy dreams, my soul, arise,
From love's deep slumber and from death,
||O cool is the valley now
And there, love, will we go
||Because your voice was at my side
I gave him pain,
||O Sweetheart, hear you
Your lover's tale;
||Be not sad because all men
Prefer a lying clamour before you:
||In the dark pine-wood
I would we lay,
||He who hath glory lost, nor hath
Found any soul to fellow his,
||Of that so sweet imprisonment
My soul, dearest, is fain -- -
||This heart that flutters near my heart
My hope and all my riches is,
||Silently she's combing,
Combing her long hair
||Lightly come or lightly go:
Though thy heart presage thee woe,
||Thou leanest to the shell of night,
Dear lady, a divining ear.
||Though I thy Mithridates were,
Framed to defy the poison-dart,
||Gentle lady, do not sing
Sad songs about the end of love;
||Dear heart, why will you use me so?
Dear eyes that gently me upbraid,
||Love came to us in time gone by
When one at twilight shyly played
||O, it was out by Donnycarney
When the bat flew from tree to tree
||Rain has fallen all the day.
O come among the laden trees:
||Now, O now, in this brown land
Where Love did so sweet music make
||Sleep now, O sleep now,
O you unquiet heart!
||All day I hear the noise of waters
||I hear an army charging upon the land,
And the thunder of horses plunging, foam about their knees:
- Strings in the earth and air
- Make music sweet;
- Strings by the river where
- The willows meet.
- There's music along the river
- For Love wanders there,
- Pale flowers on his mantle,
- Dark leaves on his hair.
- All softly playing,
- With head to the music bent,
- And fingers straying
- Upon an instrument.
- The twilight turns from amethyst
- To deep and deeper blue,
- The lamp fills with a pale green glow
- The trees of the avenue.
- The old piano plays an air,
- Sedate and slow and gay;
- She bends upon the yellow keys,
- Her head inclines this way.
- Shy thought and grave wide eyes and hands
- That wander as they list -- -
- The twilight turns to darker blue
- With lights of amethyst.
- At that hour when all things have repose,
- O lonely watcher of the skies,
- Do you hear the night wind and the sighs
- Of harps playing unto Love to unclose
- The pale gates of sunrise?
- When all things repose, do you alone
- Awake to hear the sweet harps play
- To Love before him on his way,
- And the night wind answering in antiphon
- Till night is overgone?
- Play on, invisible harps, unto Love,
- Whose way in heaven is aglow
- At that hour when soft lights come and go,
- Soft sweet music in the air above
- And in the earth below.
- When the shy star goes forth in heaven
- All maidenly, disconsolate,
- Hear you amid the drowsy even
- One who is singing by your gate.
- His song is softer than the dew
- And he is come to visit you.
- O bend no more in revery
- When he at eventide is calling.
- Nor muse: Who may this singer be
- Whose song about my heart is falling?
- Know you by this, the lover's chant,
- 'Tis I that am your visitant.
- Lean out of the window,
- I hear you singing
- A merry air.
- My book was closed,
- I read no more,
- Watching the fire dance
- On the floor.
- I have left my book,
- I have left my room,
- For I heard you singing
- Through the gloom.
- Singing and singing
- A merry air,
- Lean out of the window,
- I would in that sweet bosom be
- (O sweet it is and fair it is!)
- Where no rude wind might visit me.
- Because of sad austerities
- I would in that sweet bosom be.
- I would be ever in that heart
- (O soft I knock and soft entreat her!)
- Where only peace might be my part.
- Austerities were all the sweeter
- So I were ever in that heart.
- My love is in a light attire
- Among the apple-trees,
- Where the gay winds do most desire
- To run in companies.
- There, where the gay winds stay to woo
- The young leaves as they pass,
- My love goes slowly, bending to
- Her shadow on the grass;
- And where the sky's a pale blue cup
- Over the laughing land,
- My love goes lightly, holding up
- Her dress with dainty hand.
- Who goes amid the green wood
- With springtide all adorning her?
- Who goes amid the merry green wood
- To make it merrier?
- Who passes in the sunlight
- By ways that know the light footfall?
- Who passes in the sweet sunlight
- With mien so virginal?
- The ways of all the woodland
- Gleam with a soft and golden fire -- -
- For whom does all the sunny woodland
- Carry so brave attire?
- O, it is for my true love
- The woods their rich apparel wear -- -
- O, it is for my own true love,
- That is so young and fair.
- Winds of May, that dance on the sea,
- Dancing a ring-around in glee
- From furrow to furrow, while overhead
- The foam flies up to be garlanded,
- In silvery arches spanning the air,
- Saw you my true love anywhere?
- Welladay! Welladay!
- For the winds of May!
- Love is unhappy when love is away!
- Bright cap and streamers,
- He sings in the hollow:
- Come follow, come follow,
- All you that love.
- Leave dreams to the dreamers
- That will not after,
- That song and laughter
- Do nothing move.
- With ribbons streaming
- He sings the bolder;
- In troop at his shoulder
- The wild bees hum.
- And the time of dreaming
- Dreams is over -- -
- As lover to lover,
- Sweetheart, I come.
- Bid adieu, adieu, adieu,
- Bid adieu to girlish days,
- Happy Love is come to woo
- Thee and woo thy girlish ways -- -
- The zone that doth become thee fair,
- The snood upon thy yellow hair,
- When thou hast heard his name upon
- The bugles of the cherubim
- Begin thou softly to unzone
- Thy girlish bosom unto him
- And softly to undo the snood
- That is the sign of maidenhood.
- What counsel has the hooded moon
- Put in thy heart, my shyly sweet,
- Of Love in ancient plenilune,
- Glory and stars beneath his feet -- -
- A sage that is but kith and kin
- With the comedian Capuchin?
- Believe me rather that am wise
- In disregard of the divine,
- A glory kindles in those eyes
- Trembles to starlight. Mine, O Mine!
- No more be tears in moon or mist
- For thee, sweet sentimentalist.
- Go seek her out all courteously,
- And say I come,
- Wind of spices whose song is ever
- O, hurry over the dark lands
- And run upon the sea
- For seas and lands shall not divide us
- My love and me.
- Now, wind, of your good courtesy
- I pray you go,
- And come into her little garden
- And sing at her window;
- Singing: The bridal wind is blowing
- For Love is at his noon;
- And soon will your true love be with you,
- Soon, O soon.
- My dove, my beautiful one,
- Arise, arise!
- The night-dew lies
- Upon my lips and eyes.
- The odorous winds are weaving
- A music of sighs:
- Arise, arise,
- My dove, my beautiful one!
- I wait by the cedar tree,
- My sister, my love,
- White breast of the dove,
- My breast shall be your bed.
- The pale dew lies
- Like a veil on my head.
- My fair one, my fair dove,
- Arise, arise!
- From dewy dreams, my soul, arise,
- From love's deep slumber and from death,
- For lo! the trees are full of sighs
- Whose leaves the morn admonisheth.
- Eastward the gradual dawn prevails
- Where softly-burning fires appear,
- Making to tremble all those veils
- Of grey and golden gossamer.
- While sweetly, gently, secretly,
- The flowery bells of morn are stirred
- And the wise choirs of faery
- Begin (innumerous!) to be heard.
- O cool is the valley now
- And there, love, will we go
- For many a choir is singing now
- Where Love did sometime go.
- And hear you not the thrushes calling,
- Calling us away?
- O cool and pleasant is the valley
- And there, love, will we stay.
- Because your voice was at my side
- I gave him pain,
- Because within my hand I held
- Your hand again.
- There is no word nor any sign
- Can make amend -- -
- He is a stranger to me now
- Who was my friend.
- O Sweetheart, hear you
- Your lover's tale;
- A man shall have sorrow
- When friends him fail.
- For he shall know then
- Friends be untrue
- And a little ashes
- Their words come to.
- But one unto him
- Will softly move
- And softly woo him
- In ways of love.
- His hand is under
- Her smooth round breast;
- So he who has sorrow
- Shall have rest.
- Be not sad because all men
- Prefer a lying clamour before you:
- Sweetheart, be at peace again -- -
- Can they dishonour you?
- They are sadder than all tears;
- Their lives ascend as a continual sigh.
- Proudly answer to their tears:
- As they deny, deny.
- In the dark pine-wood
- I would we lay,
- In deep cool shadow
- At noon of day.
- How sweet to lie there,
- Sweet to kiss,
- Where the great pine-forest
- Enaisled is!
- Thy kiss descending
- Sweeter were
- With a soft tumult
- Of thy hair.
- O unto the pine-wood
- At noon of day
- Come with me now,
- Sweet love, away.
- He who hath glory lost, nor hath
- Found any soul to fellow his,
- Among his foes in scorn and wrath
- Holding to ancient nobleness,
- That high unconsortable one -- -
- His love is his companion.
- Of that so sweet imprisonment
- My soul, dearest, is fain -- -
- Soft arms that woo me to relent
- And woo me to detain.
- Ah, could they ever hold me there
- Gladly were I a prisoner!
- Dearest, through interwoven arms
- By love made tremulous,
- That night allures me where alarms
- Nowise may trouble us;
- But lseep to dreamier sleep be wed
- Where soul with soul lies prisoned.
- This heart that flutters near my heart
- My hope and all my riches is,
- Unhappy when we draw apart
- And happy between kiss and kiss:
- My hope and all my riches -- - yes! -- -
- And all my happiness.
- For there, as in some mossy nest
- The wrens will divers treasures keep,
- I laid those treasures I possessed
- Ere that mine eyes had learned to weep.
- Shall we not be as wise as they
- Though love live but a day?
- Silently she's combing,
- Combing her long hair
- Silently and graciously,
- With many a pretty air.
- The sun is in the willow leaves
- And on the dapplled grass,
- And still she's combing her long hair
- Before the looking-glass.
- I pray you, cease to comb out,
- Comb out your long hair,
- For I have heard of witchery
- Under a pretty air,
- That makes as one thing to the lover
- Staying and going hence,
- All fair, with many a pretty air
- And many a negligence.
- Lightly come or lightly go:
- Though thy heart presage thee woe,
- Vales and many a wasted sun,
- Oread let thy laughter run,
- Till the irreverent mountain air
- Ripple all thy flying hair.
- Lightly, lightly -- - ever so:
- Clouds that wrap the vales below
- At the hour of evenstar
- Lowliest attendants are;
- Love and laughter song-confessed
- When the heart is heaviest.
- Thou leanest to the shell of night,
- Dear lady, a divining ear.
- In that soft choiring of delight
- What sound hath made thy heart to fear?
- Seemed it of rivers rushing forth
- From the grey deserts of the north?
- That mood of thine
- Is his, if thou but scan it well,
- Who a mad tale bequeaths to us
- At ghosting hour conjurable -- -
- And all for some strange name he read
- In Purchas or in Holinshed.
- Though I thy Mithridates were,
- Framed to defy the poison-dart,
- Yet must thou fold me unaware
- To know the rapture of thy heart,
- And I but render and confess
- The malice of thy tenderness.
- For elegant and antique phrase,
- Dearest, my lips wax all too wise;
- Nor have I known a love whose praise
- Our piping poets solemnize,
- Neither a love where may not be
- Ever so little falsity.
- Gentle lady, do not sing
- Sad songs about the end of love;
- Lay aside sadness and sing
- How love that passes is enough.
- Sing about the long deep sleep
- Of lovers that are dead, and how
- In the grave all love shall sleep:
- Love is aweary now.
- Dear heart, why will you use me so?
- Dear eyes that gently me upbraid,
- Still are you beautiful -- - but O,
- How is your beauty raimented!
- Through the clear mirror of your eyes,
- Through the soft sigh of kiss to kiss,
- Desolate winds assail with cries
- The shadowy garden where love is.
- And soon shall love dissolved be
- When over us the wild winds blow -- -
- But you, dear love, too dear to me,
- Alas! why will you use me so?
- Love came to us in time gone by
- When one at twilight shyly played
- And one in fear was standing nigh -- -
- For Love at first is all afraid.
- We were grave lovers. Love is past
- That had his sweet hours many a one;
- Welcome to us now at the last
- The ways that we shall go upon.
- O, it was out by Donnycarney
- When the bat flew from tree to tree
- My love and I did walk together;
- And sweet were the words she said to me.
- Along with us the summer wind
- Went murmuring -- - O, happily! -- -
- But softer than the breath of summer
- Was the kiss she gave to me.
- Rain has fallen all the day.
- O come among the laden trees:
- The leaves lie thick upon the way
- Of memories.
- Staying a little by the way
- Of memories shall we depart.
- Come, my beloved, where I may
- Speak to your heart.
- Now, O now, in this brown land
- Where Love did so sweet music make
- We two shall wander, hand in hand,
- Forbearing for old friendship' sake,
- Nor grieve because our love was gay
- Which now is ended in this way.
- A rogue in red and yellow dress
- Is knocking, knocking at the tree;
- And all around our loneliness
- The wind is whistling merrily.
- The leaves -- - they do not sigh at all
- When the year takes them in the fall.
- Now, O now, we hear no more
- The vilanelle and roundelay!
- Yet will we kiss, sweetheart, before
- We take sad leave at close of day.
- Grieve not, sweetheart, for anything -- -
- The year, the year is gathering.
- Sleep now, O sleep now,
- O you unquiet heart!
- A voice crying "Sleep now"
- Is heard in my heart.
- The voice of the winter
- Is heard at the door.
- O sleep, for the winter
- Is crying "Sleep no more."
- My kiss will give peace now
- And quiet to your heart -- -
- Sleep on in peace now,
- O you unquiet heart!
- All day I hear the noise of waters
- Making moan,
- Sad as the sea-bird is when, going
- Forth alone,
- He hears the winds cry to the water's
- The grey winds, the cold winds are blowing
- Where I go.
- I hear the noise of many waters
- Far below.
- All day, all night, I hear them flowing
- To and fro.
- I hear an army charging upon the land,
- And the thunder of horses plunging, foam about their knees:
- Arrogant, in black armour, behind them stand,
- Disdaining the reins, with fluttering whips, the charioteers.
- They cry unto the night their battle-name:
- I moan in sleep when I hear afar their whirling laughter.
- They cleave the gloom of dreams, a blinding flame,
- Clanging, clanging upon the heart as upon an anvil.
- They come shaking in triumph their long, green hair:
- They come out of the sea and run shouting by the shore.
- My heart, have you no wisdom thus to despair?
- My love, my love, my love, why have you left me alone?