Songs

Words

by William Harmer

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Text

Words
English source: Edward Thomas

Out of us all
That make rhymes,
Will you choose
Sometimes —
As the winds use
A crack in a wall
Or a drain,
Their joy or their pain
To whistle through —
Choose me,
You English words?

I know you:
You are light as dreams,
Tough as oak,
Precious as gold,
As poppies and corn,
Or an old cloak:
Sweet as our birds
To the ear,
As the burnet rose
In the heat
Of Midsummer:
Strange as the races
Of dead and unborn:
Strange and sweet
Equally,
And familiar,
To the eye,
As the dearest faces
That a man knows,
And as lost homes are:
But though older far
Than oldest yew, —
As our hills are, old, —
Worn new
Again and again:
Young as our streams
After rain:
And as dear
As the earth which you prove
That we love.

Make me content
With some sweetness
From Wales
Whose nightingales
Have no wings, —
From Wiltshire and Kent
And Herefordshire,
And the villages there, —
From the names, and the things
No less.
Let me sometimes dance
With you,
Or climb
Or stand perchance
In ecstasy,
Fixed and free
In a rhyme,
As poets do.

Composer

William Harmer

William Harmer is a London-based composer and pianist who currently studies postgraduate composition with Morgan Hayes at the Royal Academy of Music, having previously studied with Robert Saxton at Oxford University. In 2017, Will won the BBC Proms…

Performances

Previously performed at:

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