Poetic Souvenirs (2014) 18 mins

2 Title PageUnaccompanied chorus: SATB

Dedicated to my daughter, Leela: who fans the flame

This collection of Poetic Souvenirs (memories/mementos) is of important personal significance to me, and represents a kind of continuum. It is dedicated to my daughter, Leela, whose unwavering interest, support and belief fan the flames of my creativity. It also draws upon childhood memories. In the days before television and electronic media of all sorts were ubiquitous my father used to entertain us with recitals and readings of classic poetry and some of the many poets that are among his favourites are represented here.

Patrick Jonathan

October, 2014

 

Contents:

Sound the Clarion (Thomas Osbert Mordaunt) 2’00” 

She Walks In Beauty (Lord Byron) 6’00” 

Advice (Samuel Taylor Coleridge) 1’15” 

I Remember (Thomas Hood) 7’00” 

Music (Percy Bysshe Shelley) 1’30” 

Total duration: c. 18 minutes

 

The Poems:

Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife!

To all the sensual world proclaim,

One crowded hour of glorious life

Is worth an age without a name.

Thomas Osbert Mordaunt

(1730-1809)   

(formerly attributed to Sir Walter Scott)

 

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Thus mellowed to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impaired the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

Lord Byron

(1788-1824)

 

Advice is like snow: the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into, the mind.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(1772-1834)

 

I remember, I remember,

The house where I was born,

The little window where the sun

Came peeping in at morn;

He never came a wink too soon,

Nor brought too long a day,

But now, I often wish the night

Had borne my breath away.

I remember, I remember,

The roses, red and white,

The violets, and the lily-cups –

Those flowers made of light!

The lilacs where the robin built,

And where my brother set

The laburnum on his birthday,—

The tree is living yet!

I remember, I remember,

Where I was used to swing,

And thought the air must rush as fresh

To swallows on the wing;

My spirits flew in feathers then,

That is so heavy now,

And summer pools could hardly cool

The fever on my brow!

I remember, I remember,

The fir trees dark and high;

I used to think their slender tops

Were close against the sky:

It was a childish ignorance,

But now ’tis little joy

To know I’m farther off from Heaven

Than when I was a boy.

Thomas Hood

(1799-1845)

 

Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory –
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heap’d for the belovèd’s bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

(1792-1822)