Symphony of light and shadow (Huub de Lange)
1. The early hour
2. The little black boy
3. The beautiful changes
4. Frozen world
5. Dancing with Alicia
6. The dark tarn
8. Painting of a communion
9. The daylight is dying
Description: 10 parts
Original text and translations
Part 2: The Little Black Boy (William Blake)
My mother bore me in the southern wild,
And I am black, but oh! my soul is white.
White as an angel is the English child,
But I am black as if bereaved of light.
My mother taught me underneath a tree,
And, sitting down before the heat of day,
She took me on her lap and kissed me,
And pointing to the east began to say:
"Look on the rising sun, -there God does live
And gives his light, and gives his heat away;
And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive
Comfort in morning, joy in the noonday.
And we are put on earth a little space
That we may learn to bear the beams of love;
And these black bodies and this sunburnt face
Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.
For when our souls have learned the heat to bear
The cloud will vanish, we shall hear his voice
Saying: `Come out from the grove, my love and care,
And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice!' "
Thus did my mother say, and kissed me;
And thus I say to little English boy:
When I from black and he from white cloud free,
And round the tent of God like lambs we joy,
I'll shade him from the heat till he can bear
To lean in joy upon our father's knee;
And then I'll stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him, and he will then love me.
Part 3: The Beautiful Changes (Richard Wilbur)
One wading a Fall meadow finds on all sides
The Queen Anne's Lace lying like lilies
On water; it glides
So from the walker, it turns
Dry grass to a lake, as the slightest shade of you
Valleys my mind in fabulous blue Lucernes.
The beautiful changes as a forest is changed
By a chameleon's tuning his skin to it;
As a mantis, arranged
On a green leaf, grows
Into it, makes the leaf leafier, and proves
Any greenness is greener than anyone knows.
Your hands hold roses always in a way that says
They are not only yours; the beautiful changes
In such kind ways,
Wishing ever to sunder
Things and Thing's selves for a second finding, to lose
For a moment all that it touches back to wonder.
Part 6: The Dark Tarn (Alice V. Stuart)
Slipping my self
As a bather strips his clothes
Nightly I plunge
Into the dark tarn, the lone,
Ebon, glassy, deep,
Sunk beneath cliffs of sleep.
I stumble to it drowsily
Up mazy slopes of dream,
Then plunge, plunge and am
Lost, immersed, drowned,
Beyond reach of sight or sound,
Of consciousness my spark
Dowsed, douted, quenched in the dark.
To the cheerful light,
The sunstream from on high,
This not-I, once more I,
Day’s traffickings, day’s loves,
Resumes with sense and sight.
But some day, ah, some day,
As yet outwith my ken
I shall sink to unplumbed deeps
Beyond dredging net of men,
From that underwater world of timeless sleep
Never to rise,
Never to rise to upper day again.
Part 7: Indra (August Strindberg)
Down to the sand-covered earth.
Straw from the harvested fields soiled our feet;
Dust from the high-roads,
Smoke from the cities,
Fumes from cellars and kitchens,
All we endured.
Then to the open sea we fled,
Filling our lungs with air,
Shaking our wings,
And laving our feet.
Indra, Lord of the Heavens,
Hear our sighing!
Unclean is the earth;
Evil is life;
Neither good nor bad
Can men be deemed.
As they can, they live,
One day at a time.
Sons of dust, through dust they journey;
Born out of dust, to dust they return.
Given they were, for trudging,
Feet, not wings for flying.
Dusty they grow--
Lies the fault then with them,
Or with Thee?
Part 8: Painting of a Communion (Alice V. Stuart)
In the Church of my fathers
The table is spread only twice in the year,
In May and November. With each recurring season,
High springtide, the onset of winter,
As I sit and partake, I look at the patient faces,
Row upon row, lined with life’s cares, and looking,
In the clear white light refracted
From the strips of snowy linen lining the pew-boards,
Like the faces you see ranged in the Dutchman’s paintings,
Rembrandt, who loved humankind.
Part 9: The daylight is dying (A.B. Banjo Paterson)
The daylight is dying
Away in the west,
The wild birds are flying
in silence to rest;
In leafage and frondage
Where shadows are deep,
They pass to its bondage--
The kingdom of sleep
And watched in their sleeping
By stars in the height,
They rest in your keeping,
O wonderful night.
When night doth her glories
Of starshine unfold,
'Tis then that the stories
Of bush-land are told.
Unnumbered I told them
In memories bright,
But who could unfold them,
Or read them aright?
Beyond all denials
The stars in their glories,
The breeze in the myalls,
Are part of these stories.
The waving of grasses,
The song of the river
That sings as it passes
For ever and ever,
The hobble-chains' rattle,
The calling of birds,
The lowing of cattle
Must blend with the words.
Without these, indeed you
Would find it ere long,
As though I should read you
The words of a song
That lamely would linger
When lacking the rune,
The voice of a singer,
The lilt of the tune.
But as one halk-bearing
An old-time refrain,
With memory clearing,
Recalls it again,
These tales roughly wrought of
The Bush and its ways,
May call back a thought of
The wandering days;
And, blending with each
In the memories that throng
There haply shall reach
You some echo of song.