The Singing Shepherd

Alpine shepherd and opera singer Florian Karg
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GODS of the desert! Strange messengers! Gods of the desert! O PALE and silent dawn, wilt speak to me? Enchanter thou, O deep and solemn night! And, lo! At his sweet note The flowers began to grow, Grass, leaves, and everything; As if the green world heard The trumpet of his tiny throat From end to end, and winter and despair Fled at his melody and passed in air.

But thou dost bring Springtime to every day, and at thy call The flowers of life unfold though leaves of autumn fall. AN evening born for dreams! Late lingered, sporting in their world of bliss, The winged creatures bred to haunt the wave; Ah! Sudden the stillness and the rapture end; Death has rushed in! The waves are dark; perchance he may not know His path, for who can know when left alone, And darkness falls on all, above, below, Ah! But to the mind that has conceived such death And brings this misery upon the world, To him who sees not that the lightest breath Sacred within the bird or blossom curled Is bliss, a mystery of life close-furled; On him whose heart cares not for nature's heart,-- Upon his head one day a bolt is hurled, And in the death lie feared not he has part.

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Crickets to the morning air Sang the season's evening song, While the sea-birds' dusky lair Glimmered with their throng. Nor other sound, save dropping tears, Until the distant light-house bell Across the land, across our fears, In wide vibrations fell, Fell surging over driven ships That wander blind in dreadful seas, With music out of iron lips For women on their knees. Wild tears, restrain your overflow! Down to the darkest gulfs that be, Thus the great voice shall ever go Across life's fateful sea. From what vast eyrie bendest now Where feet have never trod, To watch the world of waiting men, And soothe their tired eyes, To lift them out of earthly ken Into thy mysteries?

Where, eagle of the Lord! Out in the dark we follow thee, We seek the unsetting sun; What untold glories shall we see Before the flight be done! O bird of God! TIS strange indeed! We wander, we forget, We lose ourselves in countless deeds that fret And trouble the sad hours; then do we turn And silent sit, like ashes in an urn, Beside the waters where in youth we strayed.

The Soul, grown timid, of herself afraid, Comes with no queenly bearing back to seek The beautiful green courts wherein none speak Save voices of the air and the deep sea. She has forgot that Nature made her free Once in that land divine, and magic tales Whispered within the stillness of strange sails That cross at midnight through the moonlit track Of ocean, and, unnamed, ne'er venture back.

Thy woman, Egypt, with her breast Two cups of carven gold, And hands that no more rise In praise or supplication, or to sound The timbrel in the dance! White is thy noontide glare, But no keen glance Of yet created sun Can pierce the deeps and caverns of thy dead. They are overspread With a new earth, where new men come and go, And sleep when all is done; While far below, Shut from the upper air, These stirless figures, bound In awful cerements, must forever wait.


LATE bird, who singest now alone When woods are silent and the sea Breathes heavily and makes a moan, Faint prescience of woe to be, -- A sweetness hovers in thy voice Spring knows not; autumn is thy choice. Dear bird, what tender song is thine, Born out of loss and nursed in storm; A messenger of grace divine Enshrouded in thy feathery form!

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So com'st thou, darling, with the close Of summer, lovelier than her rose. Summer brings the tansy now, Flaunting round the ancient well; Farther stretches web and waste, Time's decaying spell. Wide across the continent Speaks the patriot's deathless word; Blossoms on the rocky hills, In the vales is heard. Then let winter tempests rage, And the careless hand of spring Scatter weeds where'er she goes, -- And autumn ruin bring!

Built up of our larger hope, Of equal laws and equal right, His home shall only oceans bind, Nor ages quench his light. Now question we the rocks and ask the trees To point the way he went and show us where? To bring us news of him, while we press on, Spent with our errands in this nether world. O trees and rocks, alas!

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Let me haunt Your wild, that in the silence I may lose Nothing of the great secret you have heard, And fain would tell if man would pause to hear. Dost thou remember how each gray stone face Peeped from the bed Of ivy, nature-woven round that place? No longer dead, In some strange, magic hour they seemed to stir For their child worshiper. Dost thou remember where the ripening vine O'ertops the wall? The roadside rest, the flask of golden wine, The Alpine call? Forever in my dreams must I return! Wake me not, O darling, wake me not! Must thou then wander while the years decay And carry with them hopes that feed the soul?

Dead they are not! Knowledge by suffering entereth; therefore ye, Who have lost all, alone can know how dear The voice which in the silence speaks to me, Bidding depart the shuddering face of fear. Companion in earth's grief! Mine are the painted petals and the hues That shine in all things; Mine the power that fills This empty vessel of the world; the dews Freshening the grass; the awful flood that spills From the mountain-top: my messengers infuse Color and speech in all; and Nature wills Through gladness of her beauty thus to bring Man home, where all the fountains of desire spring.

Turn then, and find the consolations borne In on the lonely spirit from the fields That fade and die, their loveliness outworn. Would I could tell the harvest autumn yields!

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O ye who sorrow! Alone indeed ye are, and so must stand: The desert places will not bloom again; The frost of winter covers all the land The air is only laden with one strain; The blossoming pastures are now swept with sand, And everywhere we bear a cry of pain; Listen! IN the still night, Pallid with moonlight and unstirred by wind, The noisy waves fell crashing on the sand, Saying there will be rain.

But he who slept till day, and waked to find The sheeted raindrops beating on the land, Did loud complain His disappointed hope. Even thus we sleep, Knowing the moment and the parting near; We question not of happiness or pain, Nor in the midnight do we wake to hear The raindrops feeding earth's wide grassy slope! Strive, O striver, no more! When the apple is ripe, When the south wind blows from the shore, And the wild-birds pipe, Late shall the song be yours; Oh remember, ye who implore! Beautiful is she and dear: In vain would you give her Jewels both rare and clear; No stream nor river Shall give you her love Till the stately planets draw near. The truth is half told!

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Tells the story of Jareb, a young shepherd who sings whenever he feels afraid. He feels afraid quite often, and he sings so badly that he annoys anyone who. He moved to Mull in to run a large hill farm and became known as the “ Singing Shepherd” after producing two successful tapes of self penned songs.

And the wilderness stands, Undiscovered and bold. Forever inviting! A garden unmeasured, a sweetness unlearned, a music unframed; A lamp to the spirit, a force to the soul, a power untamed.

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Why cleanse we and eat, Why slumber and drink, Yet hunger for meat? Take thine own! Though the days were renewed, And the might of a verse. Not alone, not alone, Of these would I sing; the beauty we love, the Love that endures; But the waning of days, the falling of leaves, and the power that cures; O silence! O day! Send thy children abroad, Come winter, come May! Thou blue bending roof! We would live, let us live, in the light of the sky! Here is truth and constancy, here is power that cannot die!

Open, O nature, thine heart To these imprisoned ones, And tell them whose voice thou art! A vision in the night of what shall be! A rounded hillock and a day of peace, A tender memory of a soul set free, Earth greener where we cease. Such was the quiet place whereon there lay Pale apple-blossoms scattered on the grass; A carpet greener far than all that day Mine eyes had seen, alas! WHEN the breath of autumn comes First, to say the summer's done, When the birds their leafy homes Rifle of the seed and cone, While the yellow sun lies warm On the apple and the farm, And the perfect grass is gay With hawkweed, as with flowers of May, When the early morn is bright And all things wear the tender light Love wears before it vanisheth, -- I say, dear friend, this is like thee, So plenteous art thou and so free; Thy good cheer sorrow banisheth; And yet a softened gleam doth rest, Upon thee, for upon thy breast Many a wintry storm hath pressed; Soon thou knowest the birds shall cease, And Love that gave them give thee peace.

THE river sings his ancient song Upon his stony bed, The pine and birch and maple throng And join with waving head. O follow, follow up the stream And rest ye, loving eyes! There where the mountains like a dream Fold round the shadowy skies.

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O eyes! Look not to find her pretty head Beside the gleaming tree. The hermit-thrush, in hidden ways Where all but song is dim, Sings on and on, "Symbolic days," And still repeats his hymn. By night the river's plaint is long, At noon tall pines complain, Until I think to these belong A knowledge of our pain. THE moon was up last night, and all the earth Was gay under the favor of her face; Secure from wandering footsteps, creatures bred In lonely clefts sped over grassy lawns, And sniffed strange odors from exotic blooms; The wilding blossoms gathered, worshiping, New whiteness from the silver of her beam, While fairies spread bright yellow canopies To shield them from the keenness of her eye.

This morn, how tired out do they all appear!


Praise him who brings us joy in the. Thou too, Orion, must sink! To peep, like sunlight, behind shifting leaves, And dye the purple berries of the field, Or gleam like moonlight upon juniper, Or wear the gems outshining jeweled pride! Despite this, he was driven back to his home. The Orion "bionic eye" brain implant helped restore a blind man's sight after a tragic car crash. The days return, the seasons turn, And punctual with the morn I bring my offering, and I burn What life from life has torn. Prometheus Global Media.