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B. Royce

12th Century Medieval Lyric

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Here is the delightful original lyric from a manuscript of Benedictbeuern.

Gay comes the singer

With a song,

Sing we all together,

All things young;

Field and wood and fallow,

Lark at dawn,

Young rooks cawing, cawing,

Philomel

Still complaining of the ancient wrong.

Twitters now the swallow,

Swans are shrill

Still remembering sorrow,

Cuckoo, cuckoo, goes the cuckoo calling

On the wooded hill.

The birds sing fair,

Shining earth,

Gracious after travail

Of new birth,

Lies in radiant light,

Fragrant air.

Broad spreads the lime,

Bough and leaf.

Underfoot the thyme,

Green the turf.

Here come the dances,

In the grass

Running water glances,

Murmers past.

Happy is the place,

Whispering.

Through the open weather

Blow the winds of spring.

___________________________

Here is my takeoff from it.

Gay comes the singer,

With a song;

Sing we all together,

All things young;

Coal and wood and oil,

Steel at dawn,

Smokestacks pouring toil,

Industry

Uncomplaining of any wrong.

Hammer now the hammers,

Striking shrill;

They have nothing of badness;

Gladly, gladly, goes the full train calling

On the wooded hill.

The birds sing fair;

Shining earth,

Gracious with the new trail

Of man's birth,

Lies in radiant light,

Pungent air.

Broad spread the roads,

Streets and lanes.

Underfoot the walks---

Concrete brave.

Here come the dancers,

Workmen fine.

Each competence glance says,

"This is mine."

Happy is the place,

Rumble-ing

Full of human weather

Blow the winds of spring.

____________________________

Brian Faulkner

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