• Brian Elias
  • Dirge and Hymeneal (1969)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)
  • pf
  • Baritone, Soprano
  • 6 min
  • Thomas Lovell Beddoes

Programme Note

Dirge and Hymeneal
by Thomas Lovell Beddoes
(supposed to be sung as the funeral and wedding processions cross each other at the church-door).

Woe! Woe! This is death's hour
Of spring; behold his flower!
Fair babe of life, to whom
Death, and the dreamy tomb
Was nothing yesterday
And now is all!
The maiden from her play
Beside her lover gay,
The church-yard voices call,
Tolling so slow,
Woe Woe!

Joy! Joy! It is love's day
Strew the young conqueror's way
With summer's glories young,
O'er which the birds have sung,
Bright weeds from fairy rings;
Here, there, away!
Joy, joy, the tree-bird sings
Joy, joy, a hundred springs'
Melodies ever say,
Maiden and boy,
Joy! Joy!

She cut the roses down
And wreathed her bridal crown.
Death, playful, called her 'blossom',
And tore her from life's bosom.
Fair maiden, or fair ghost, -
Which is thy name? -
Come to the spectral host;
They pity thee the most,
And, to the cold world's shame,
Soft cry they, low,
Woe! Woe!