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Human Abstract

Requiem All that's Past (Walter de la Mare/Pier Carlo Liva) :
Very old are the woods/And the buds that break/Out of brier’s bough*/When March winds wake/Oh, no man knows/Through what wild centuries/Roves back the rose/Our dreams are tales/Told in dim Eden/By Eve’s Nightingales/But, the day gone by/Silence and sleep like fields/Of amaranth lie/Very old are the brooks/And the rills that rise/Where snow sleeps cold beneath/The azure skies/Sing such a history/Of come and gone/Their every drop is as wise/As Solomon.

Desert Places (Robert Frost/Pier Carlo Liva) :
Snow falling and night falling fast, oh fast/In a field I looked into going past/And the ground almost covered smooth in snow/But a few weeds and stubble showing last/A blanker whiteness of benighted snow/With no expression, nothing to express/They cannot scare me with their empty spaces/Between stars,** where no human race is/I have it in me much nearer home/To scare myself with my own desert places/The woods around it have it, it is theirs/All animals are smothered in their lairs/I am too absent-spirited to count/The loneliness includes me unawares/And lonely as it is that loneliness/Will be more lonely ere it will be less.

The Last Word (Matthew Arnold/Pier Carlo Liva) :
Creep into thy narrow bed/Creep, and let no more be said/Vain thy onset! All stands fast/Thou thyself must break at last/Let the long contention cease/Geese are swans and swans are geese/Let them have it how they will/Thou art tired; best be still/They out-talked thee, hissed thee, tore thee/Better men fared thus before thee/Fired their ringing shot and passed/Hotly charged and sank at last/Charge once more, then, and be dumb/Let the victors, when they come/When the forts of folly fall/Find thy body by the wall!

The Human Abstract (William Blake/Pier Carlo Liva) :
Pity would be no more/If we did not make somebody Poor/And Mercy no more could be/If all were as happy as we/ And mutual fear brings peace/Till the selfish loves increase/Then Cruelty knits a snare/And spreads his baits with care/He sits down with holy fears/And waters the ground with tears/Then Humility takes its root/Underneath his foot/Soon spreads the dismal shade/Of Mystery over his head/And the Catterpiller and Fly/Feed on the Mystery/And it bears the fruit of Deceit/Ruddy and sweet to eat/And the Raven his nest has made/In its thickest shade/The Gods of the earth and sea/Sought thro’ Nature to find this Tree/But their search was all in vain/There grows one in the Human Brain.

The Indian Serenade (Percy Shelley/Pier Carlo Liva, Catherine Elvira Chartier) :
I arise from dreams of thee/In the first sweet sleep of night/When the winds are breathing low/And the stars are shining bright/I arise from dreams of thee/And a spirit in my feet/Hath led me, who knows how/To thy chamber window, Sweet/The wandering airs they faint/On the dark, the silent stream/The Champak odours fail/Like sweet thoughts in a dream/The nightingale’s complaint/It dies upon her heart/As I must on thine/Beloved as thou art/Oh lift me from the grass/I die! I faint! I fail!/Let thy love in kisses rain/On my lips and eyelids pale/My cheek is cold and white, alas!/My heart beats loud and fast/Oh! press it close to thine again/Where it will break at last.

Sleep (Emily Brontë/Pier Carlo Liva) :
Sleep brings no joy to me/Remembrance never dies/ My soul is given to misery/And lives in sighs/Sleep brings no rest to me/The shadows of the dead/My waking eyes may never see/Surround my bed/Sleep brings no hope to me/In soundest sleep they come/And with their doleful imagery/Deepen the gloom/Sleep brings no strength to me/No power renewed to brave/I only sail a wilder sea/A darker wave/Sleep brings no friend to me/To soothe and aid to bear/They all gaze, oh, how scornfully/And I despair/Sleep brings no wish to knit/My harassed heart beneath/My only wish is to forget/In the sleep of death.

Come in (Robert Frost/Pier Carlo Liva) :
As I came to the edge of the woods/Thrush music, hark!/Now if it was dusk outside/Inside it was dark/Too dark in the woods for a bird/By sleight of wing/To better its perch for the night/Though it still could sing/The last of the light of the sun/That had died in the west/Still lived for one song more/In a thrush's breast/Far in the pillared dark/Thrush music went/Almost like a call to come in/To the dark and lament/But no, I was out for stars/I would not come in/I meant not even if asked/And I hadn't been.

Winter Days (Cecil Day-Lewis/Pier Carlo Liva) :
In these our winter days/Death’s iron tongue is glib/Numbing with fear all flesh upon/A fiery-hearted globe/An age once green is buried/Numbered the hours of light/Blood-red across the snow our sun/Still trails his faint retreat/Spring through death’s iron gard/Her million blades shall thrust/Love that was sleeping not extinct/Throw off the nighmare crust/Eyes, though not ours, shall see/Sky-high a signal flame/The sun returned to power above/A world, but not the same.

In the original text :
* Out of the brier’s bough,
** Between stars _ on stars where no human race is.