Please note our box office phone number is currently unavailable Please email boxoffice@oxfordsong.org for all enquiries

Songs

Part 1 Ditty

by Gerald Finzi From A Young Man's Exhortation (1933) Op. 14

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

Text

Part 1 Ditty
English source: Thomas Hardy

Beneath a knap where flown
Nestlings play,
Within walls of weathered stone,
Far away
From the files of formal houses,
By the bough the firstling browses,
Lives a Sweet: no merchants meet,
No man barters, no man sells
Where she dwells.

Upon that fabric fair
‘Here is she!’
Seems written everywhere
Unto me.
But to friends and nodding neighbours,
Fellow wights in lot and labours,
Who descry the times as I,
No such lucid legend tells
Where she dwells.

Should I lapse to what I was
Ere we met;
(Such will not be, but because
Some forget
Let me feign it) – none would notice
That where she I know by rote is
Spread a strange and withering change,
Like a drying of the wells
Where she dwells.

To feel I might have kissed –
Loved as true –
Otherwhere, nor Mine have missed
My life through,
Had I never wandered near her,
Is a smart severe – severer
In the thought that she is nought,
Even as I, beyond the dells
Where she dwells.

And Devotion droops her glance
To recall
What bond-servants of Chance
We are all.
I but found her in that, going
On my errant path unknowing,
I did not out-skirt the spot
That no spot on earth excels –
Where she dwells!

Composer

Gerald Finzi

Gerald Raphael Finzi was a British composer. He is best known as a choral composer, but also wrote in other genres.

Poet

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot, he was influenced both in his novels and in his poetry by Romanticism, especially William Wordsworth. He was highly…

Help us with a Donation

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

Make a Donation

Select Tickets