The Wanton Goldfish

MADRIGAL

Have you sighed for flowers that are
Fallen with the falling years,
Or despaired that grieving tears
Could not weep for grief’s despair?
From the air
I’ll distil
Scents that were,
Tears that fell,
To a draught, when drunken deep
Soothes the saddened dust to sleep.

LOVE ME AND NEVER LEAVE ME

Love me, and never leave me,
Love, nor ever deceive me,
And I shall always bless you
If I may undress you:
Which I heard a lover say
To his sweetheart where they lay.

He, though he did undress her,
Did not always bless her;
She, though she would not leave him,
Often did deceive him,
Yet they loved, and when they died
They were buried side by side.

THE WANTON GOLDFISH

A flash of flaming gold
Sliding sleepy-sly
In shining shallows rolled
His bold lascivious eye

At pretty female fish
Waving Inveigling tails,
And always had his wish,
And paid in golden scales:

Such were his goings-on.
And prices rose so high,
That soon his scales were gone,
And he decided to die,

And poked his nose in the air,
And breathed the bloating doom,
Floating bleached and bare
Where the fountain spume,

Thieving a golden sigh
From the air it sprinkled,
Splashed his blinkless eye
Till it winked and twinkled.

CHANTY

When rain falls, I say
Blow, blow away, sorrow,
It’s a foul day today
But it won’t be tomorrow:
Blow away, blow away,
Blow, blow away, sorrow;
It’s a foul day to-day,
But it won’t be tomorrow.

As I walked in a glade
Blow, blow away, sorrow,
I met with a maid,
But she won’t be tomorrow:
Blow away, blow away,
Blow, blow away, sorrow;
It’s a foul day to-day,
But it won’t be tomorrow.

And kiss whom you may,
Blow, blow away, sorrow,
She is yours for to-day,
But she won’t be tomorrow:
Blow away, blow away,
Blow, blow away, sorrow;
It’s a foul day to-day,
But it won’t be tomorrow.

So all sing with me
Blow, blow away, sorrow,
And be happy to be
For we won’t be tomorrow:
Blow away, blow away,
Blow, blow away, sorrow;
It’s a foul day to-day,
But it won’t be tomorrow.

ADAGIO

Exquisite mouth, that timorously
Quivers and presses warm to mine,
It is a songless minstrelsy
When lovely lips with lips combine,
Yet loves departed sympathise
As music made in earlier years
Melts to sadness in your eyes
And bathes their tender lust in tears.

THE HUNGRY MOTHS

Poor hungry white moths
That eat my love’s clothing,
Who says very soon
Ye’ll leave her with nothing,
Here under the moon
I make bold to persuade ye,
Ye may eat all her clothes
So ye leave me milady,
Poor
hungry
white
moths.

TRIOLET

Always, my pretty one,
You will remain,
In youth’s dominion,
Always my pretty one;
And, when the dance is done,
And beauties wane,
Always, my pretty one,
You will remain.

MADRIGAL

Laughing, weeping questioning,
Make the sum of living:
So we laugh until we cry,
Cry until we wonder why,
Wonder why until we die,
Laughing
Weeping
Questioning

MADRIGAL

Death has a butcher shop
Where the Gods come in to buy:
And old meat turns their faces wry
As the chipper-chopper goes chip, chop;
But they’d like a cut from your lady’s
thigh
Or a tender steak from her ribs to fry
Though they don’t think much of her
sparkling eye
Or the saucy breasts you love to untie
As the chipper-chopper goes chip, chop;
chip, chop;
Chip, chop.

WORLD WITHOUT END

To love but one
And she the best;
To stay with none
to love but one:
New love begun,
To leave the rest
To love but one
And she the best
AMEN.

frontispiece

by RONALD McCUAIG To MR CECIL MANN
Privately printed by the Author, 73, Fitzwilliam Road, Vaucluse, SYDNEY 1941
Frontispiece drawing by VIC. COWDROY.
OF THESE SONGS, written before 1934, some appeared by permission of the Editor of THE BULLETIN, where they were first printed.