City of Song-Ghosts [Narrator reprise]

by Cheryl Frances-Hoad From Six Songs of Melmoth (2020)

If you would like to use our texts and translations, please click here for more information.


City of Song-Ghosts [Narrator reprise]
English source: Sophie Rashbrook

Melmoth has wandered the earth
seeking the one who can take her place
For centuries, not one has consented

But then, Melmoth heard of a place
where the sorrow of ghosts
is bottled in song
Now Melmoth sits
on the top of the church spire
and listens

Moping poets
Hurdy-gurdy men
Sirens of the spinning-wheel

Melmoth drinks these cocktails
of despair and desire
never satisfied, until one night
she hears a voice
that is liquid melancholy

At once, Melmoth knows its secrets
The singer who hides her own despair
behind the melody-miseries of others

Yes, she will do;
Yes, she is the one
Melmoth flies down
and enters through the door
Only the singer can see her…


Cheryl Frances-Hoad

Cheryl's music has been described as “like a declaration of faith in the eternal verities of composition” (The Times), with “a voice overflowing not only with ideas, but also with the discipline and artistry necessary to harness them” (The…


Sophie Rashbrook

Sophie Rashbrook is a writer, librettist and opera dramaturg. 

Help us with a Donation

Enjoying our texts and translations? Help us continue to offer this service to all.

Make a Donation

Select Tickets