The Second Lute Song of the Earl of Essex (from Gloriana)

by Benjamin Britten

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The Second Lute Song of the Earl of Essex (from Gloriana)
English source: Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex

Happy were he could finish forth his fate
in some unhaunted desert, most obscure
from all societies, from love and hate
of worldly folk; then might he sleep secure;
then wake again, and give God ever praise,
content with hips and haws and bramble-berry;
in contemplation spending all his days,
and change of holy thoughts to make him merry;
where, when he dies, his tomb may be a bush,
where harmless robin dwells with gentle thrush.
Happy, happy were he, happy were he.

_from 'Gloriana' - libretto by William Plomer_


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,…


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