SONGS OF ARABIA

SONGS OF ARABIA
Granville Bantock
Helen F. Schweitzer
Breitkopf & Härtel

A Cycle of Six Songs

1. The Meeting
2. Lament
3. In the Desert
4. The Nightingale’s Song
5. The Chieftain’s Battle Song
6. The Return

1. The Meeting

They were standing by the fountain,
He, a noble Arab chieftain;
She, an Arab chieftain’s daughter,
While the water splash’d and wander’d.

Then he look’d into her soft eyes,
“One clear draught I ask thee, maiden,”
And far down she dropp’d her pitcher
While the water splash’d and wander’d.

Then Love look’d up from the mirror
Of the magic crystal fountain
As they lean’d there close together
While the water splash’d and wander’d.

“All my spirit loves thee, maiden,”
Cried he, struck by Love’s swift arrow,
And she murmur’d too,”I love thee,”
While the water splash’d and wander’d.

2. Lament

Mine eyes are sad, my soul is lonely,
I think of thee, love, only,
My roses parch’d and overblown,
Drop down their sweets before the sun,
The fervent sun of love which sears
These poor cheeks pale with constant tears,

Songs of Arabia – 2
Ah! love, my heart is sad and lonely,
I yearn for thee, for thee, love, only.
My lute is still, my lips are sighing,
How weary are the hours in flying,
The very breezes soft caress
Speaks to my heart of loneliness.
The fountain falling on the stone,
Murmurs of thee, of thee alone.
Ah! love, for thee my soul is sighing,
How weary are the hours in flying.

3. In the Desert

Motionless, voiceless, beautiful serene
The silence stretches round me, and I lean
To catch one breeze that may-be kiss’d her hair.
Oh! my beloved, I see thee ev’rywhere I wander.
In this cold silver moonlight
Thy memory bathes my sad dim wearied sight.
But thou art distant, as the mirage shines
In treacherous light on far horizon lines,
Luring the thirsty traveler to lave
His parchèd lips in an ever distant wave.

4. The Nightingale’s Song

O bird that singest to the eve, forlorn,
Thy bosom press’d against a thorn,
Thou couldst not warble thus, were not thy heart
Pierc’d with the pain and passion of that dart.
So too, my soul was silent, till Love’s pain
Drew from its strings this broken strain.

Ah! how thou singest, music-haunted bird
Till all the list’ning air is stirr’d,
Till joy, born from the wonder of thy lay
Chases my sadness all away!
And Hope’s glad whisper makes my full heart burn
He will return, he will return,

5. The Chieftain’s Battle Song

Swiftly we ride through the night,
Ride till the eastern light
Flushes the dawn red rose,
Then swiftly we dash on our foes!

Swift as the wings of the wind,
Swiftly with Death behind,
Deadly as Simoon’s breath
Right boldly we ride with Death.

“Allah il Allah” our cry,
Onward to victory!
Onward to victory!
Proudly our pennons wave,
Red, red as the blood of the brave.

Then, at the end of the fray
Out thro’ the desert away!
Riding, ah! swift and free,
Swift riding, my love, to thee!

6. The Return

Ah! kiss me once and yet again
Till passion almost thrills to pain
And all my yielding soul is fire,
My love, my own, my heart’s desire.

The clash of steel, the call to arms,
The wheeling charge, wild war’s alarms,
The fight with death and danger o’er,
And I am here with thee once more!

Ah! kiss me once and yet again
Till passion almost thrills to pain
And all my yielding soul is fire,
My love, my own, my heart’s desire.

SONGS OF ARABIA