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by Benjamin Britten From Who are these children? (1969) Op. 84

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English source: William Soutar

Within the violence of the storm
The wise men are made dumb:
Young bones are hollowed by the worm;
The babe dies in the womb.

Above the lover’s mouth is pressed
The silence of a stone:
Fate rides upon an iron beast
And tramples cities down.

And shall the multitudinous grave
Our enmity inter;
These dungeons of misrule enslave
Our bitterness and fear?

All are the conquered; and in vain
The laurel binds the brow:
The phantoms of the dead remain
And from our faces show.


Benjamin Britten

Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976) was an English composer, conductor and pianist. He was a central figure of 20th-century British classical music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music,…


William Soutar

William Soutar was a Scottish poet from Perthshire.

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