August 15, 2015

 Peyroux sings Auden

 

Madeleine Peyroux
Lay your sleeping head, my love
Human on my faithless arm
Time and fever burn away
Beauty from thoughtful children
And the grave proves the child ephemeral
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie
Mortal, guilty, but to me the entirely beautiful

Certainty, fidelity
On the stroke of midnight pass
Like vibrations of a bell
Fashionable madmen
Raise their boring cry
Every penny of the cost
All the dreaded cards foretell
Shall be paid, but from this night
Not a whisper, not a thought
Not a kiss nor look be lost

Beauty, midnight, vision dies
Let the winds of dawn that blow
Softly round your dreaming head
Such a day of sweetness show
Eye and knocking heart may bless
Find the mortal world enough
Noons of dryness see you fed
By the involuntary powers
Nights of insult let you pass
Watched by every human love

W.H. Auden
Lay your sleeping head, my love,
Human on my faithless arm;
Time and fevers burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children, and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral:
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful.

Soul and body have no bounds:
To lovers as they lie upon
Her tolerant enchanted slope
In their ordinary swoon,
Grave the vision Venus sends
Of supernatural sympathy,
Universal love and hope;
While an abstract insight wakes
Among the glaciers and the rocks
The hermit’s sensual ecstasy.

Certainty, fidelity
On the stroke of midnight pass
Like vibrations of a bell,
And fashionable madmen raise
Their pedantic boring cry:
Every farthing of the cost,
All the dreaded cards foretell,
Shall be paid, but from this night
Not a whisper, not a thought,
Not a kiss nor look be lost.

Beauty, midnight, vision dies:
Let the winds of dawn that blow
Softly round your dreaming head
Such a day of sweetness show
Eye and knocking heart may bless,
Find the mortal world enough;
Noons of dryness see you fed
By the involuntary powers,
Nights of insult let you pass
Watched by every human love.

January 1937

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