An extract from the end of Chapter 2 of "The
Water Babies" by Charles Kingsley
"And the dame decked it with garlands every Sunday, till
she grew so old that she could not stir abroad; then the little children
decked it, for her. And always she sang an old old song, as she sat spinning
what she called her wedding-dress. The children could not understand it,
but they liked it none the less for that; for it was very sweet, and very
sad; and that was enough for them. And these are the words of it:-
When all the world is young, lad, and all the trees
And every goose a swan, lad, and every lass a queen;
Then hey for boot and horse, lad, and round the world away;
Young blood must have its course, lad, and every dog his day.
When all the world is old, lad, and all the trees
And all the sport is stale, lad, and all the wheels run down;
Creep home, and take your place there, the spent and maimed among:
God grant you find one face there, you loved when all was young.
Those are the words: but they are only the body of it: the
soul of the song was the dear old woman's sweet face, and sweet voice, and
the sweet old air to which she sang; and that, alas! one cannot put on paper.
And at last she grew so stiff and lame, that the angels were forced to carry
her; and they helped her on with her wedding-dress, and carried her up over
Harthover Fells, and a long way beyond that too; and there was a new schoolmistress
in Vendale, and we will hope that she was not certificated."
"Dirge" (From "The Sea Bride"
by George Darley)
Prayer unsaid, and mass unsung, Deadman's dirge
must still be rung:
Dingle-dong, the dead-bells sound! Mermen chant his dirge around!
Wash him bloodless, smooth him fair, Stretch his
limbs, and sleek his hair
Dingle-dong, the dead-bells go! Mermen swing them to and fro!
In the wormless sand shall he Feast for no foul
Dingle-dong, the dead-bells chime! Mermen keep the tone and time!
We must with a tombstone brave Shut the shark out
from his grave
Dingle-dong, the dead-bells toll! Mermen dirgers ring his knoll!
Such a slab will we lay o'er him All the dead shall
rise before him!
Dingle-dong, the dead-bells boom! Mermen lay him in his tomb!
"The Mermaidens Vesper Hymn" by
TROOP home to silent grots and caves! troop home!
and mimic as you go
The mournful windings of the waves which to their dark abysses flow.
At this sweet hour, all things beside in amorous
pairs to covert creep;
The swans that brush the evening tide homeward in snowy couples keep.
In his green den the murmuring seal close by his
sleek companion lies;
While singly we to bedward steal, and close in fruitless sleep our eyes.
In bowers of love men take their rest, in loveless
bowers we sigh alone,
With bosom friends are others blest, but we have none! but we have none!
(from "Nepenthe", by
George Darley )
O BLEST unfabled Incense Tree, that burns in glorious
With red scent chalicing the air, till earth-life grow Elysian there!
Half-buried to her flaming breast in this bright
tree, she makes her nest,
Hundred-sunned Phoenix! when she must crumble at length to hoary dust!
Her gorgeous deathbed! her rich pyre burnt up with
Her urn, sight high from spoiler men! her birthplace when self-born again!
The mountainless green wilds among, here ends she
her unechoing song!
With amber tears and odorous sighs mourned by the desert where she dies!
GEORGE DARLEY. (1795-1846.)
This remarkable poet was in his own day greatly admired by the most discerning
critics of the period. Both the merits and demerits of his too often uncontrolled
style are adequately indicated in the criticism of Mr Ingram - "[frequently]
his wild Celtic fancy breaks its curb and carries him into clouds of metaphor
as marvellous as they are musical, although often the flight ends by a hasty
and undignified descent to commonplace earth." There is no commonplace,
however, in his exquisite faEry verse, which, in the words of the same critic,
"is among the loveliest in the language; at times is even sweeter than
Drayton's, and as fantastic as Shakespeare's".
Lovers of his best work should read the posthumous volume of his "Poems"
edited by R. and M. J. Livingstone--a rare volume, printed for private circulation.
It contains some of the songs from an unpublished lyrical drama called The
Sea Bride; and it is from this that "Dirge"comes.
From "London", by William
In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear.
In every voice; in every ban,
The mind-forg'd manacles I hear
From "Macbeth", by William
Lady Macbeth : We fail. But screw your courage
to the sticking-place, and we'll not fail.
When Duncan is asleep, whereto the rather shall his day's
hard journey soundly invite him, his two chamberlains will I with wine and
wassail so convince that memory, the warder of the brain, shall be a fume,
and the receipt of reason a limbeck only; when in swinish sleep their drenched
natures lie as in a death, what cannot you and I perform upon the unguarded
Duncan! what not put upon his spongy offices, who shall bear the guilt of
our great quell?
From "English As She Is Spoke",
by Pedro Carolino
p.22 - 'Will you this?...You mistake you self
p.23 - 'Is your master at home? Yes, sir. Is
No, sir, he sleep yet. I go make that he get up. It
come in one's? How is it, you are in bed yet?'
'English As She Is Spoke' is a reprint of a 19th
Century Portugese-English phrasebook by Senor Pedro Carolino. The great
thing about this book is that the author actually knew no English at all,
accomplishing the phrasebook via a Portugese-French then a French-English
dictionary. Hence the resulting 'English' is considerably mangled, yet very
amusing. The naiveism of the book I imagine is probably very
influential on Cardiacs lyrics in general, or at least effects the same
bewilderment on the reader..
From "Night Of The Hunter", starring
The "Love Hand/Hate Hand" thing Tim likes to taunt
us with comes from this film, as do the phrases "Clean that evil mud
out your soul", "Hot Dog!", and the childrens faces against
the starry backdrop at the beginning of the film. I also noticed the stuff
about "soft as meadowgrass" and floods in the scenes where the
grandpa sees the woman with her throat slit, and the old hags chatting in
the icecream parlour at the end. Great film by the way...