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Songs

On Wenlock Edge

by Ralph Vaughan Williams From On Wenlock Edge (1909)

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At the Oxford Lieder Festival in 2019 we presented a new film of Ralph Vaughan Williams' On Wenlock Edge, performed live with tenor Daniel Norman, the Brodsky Quartet and pianist Sholto Kynoch. It was created and directed by Jeremy Hamway-Bidgood.
Click here for information on the film and to see upcoming performances.

Text

On Wenlock Edge
English source: Alfred Edward Housman

On Wenlock Edge the wood’s in trouble;
His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves;
The gale, it plies the saplings double,
And thick on Severn snow the leaves.

T’would blow like this through holt and hanger
When Uricon the city stood;
‘Tis the old wind in the old anger,
But then it threshed another wood.

Then, ‘twas before my time, the Roman
At yonder heaving hill would stare;
The blood that warms an English yeoman,
The thoughts that hurt him, they were there.

There, like the wind through woods in riot,
Through him the gale of life blew high;
The tree of man was never quiet;
Then ‘twas the Roman, now ‘tis I.

The gale, it plies the saplings double,
It blows so hard, ‘twill soon be gone:
Today the Roman and his trouble
Are ashes under Uricon.

Composer

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams was an English composer. Over sixty years, he composed operas, ballets, chamber music, vocal pieces and orchestral compositions. He was strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folk-song. Information from Wikipedia.…

Poet

Alfred Edward Housman

Alfred Edward Housman (/26 March 1859 – 30 April 1936), usually known as A. E. Housman, was an English classical scholar and poet, best known to the general public for his cycle of poems A Shropshire Lad. Lyrical and almost epigrammatic in form, the…

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