Thursday, 31 May 2012

When do I see thee most, beloved one?

I've been listening to a lot of Vaughan Williams recently - it's very summery music for me, mostly because I love Silent Noon so very much. Beside 'Silent Noon', RVW set a number of other poems by DGR, or, as I like to think of him, the lesser Rossetti - more famous than his sister and possibly more talented but gosh, so much more of an idiot...

But Vaughan Williams can make anything good and so here's one of his settings, 'Love-sight':

When do I see thee most, beloved one?
When in the light the spirits of mine eyes
Before thy face, their altar, solemnize
The worship of that Love through thee made known?
Or when in the dusk hours, (we two alone,)
Close-kissed and eloquent of still replies
Thy twilight-hidden glimmering visage lies,
And my soul only sees thy soul its own?
O love, my love! if I no more should see
Thyself, nor on the earth the shadow of thee,
Nor image of thine eyes in any spring,—
How then should sound upon Life’s darkening slope
The ground-whirl of the perished leaves of Hope,
The wind of Death’s imperishable wing?

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