Upon the street they lie Beside the broken stone: The blood of children stares from the broken stone. Death came out of the sky In the bright afternoon: Darkness slanted over the bright afternoon. Again the sky is clear But upon earth a stain: The earth is darkened with a darkening stain: A wound which everywhere Corrupts the hearts of men: The blood of children corrupts the hearts of men. Silence is in the air: The stars move to their places: Silent and serene the stars move to their places: But from earth the children stare With blind and fearful faces: And our charity is in the children’s faces.
J. MacMillan sets stanzas 1-5
Confirmed with William Soutar, Poems in Scots and English, selected by W R Aitken, Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh, 1972, page 29.
- by William Soutar (1898 - 1943), "The children", written 1937 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "The children", op. 84 no. 11, published 1972 [tenor and piano], from Who are these children?, no. 11. [ sung text checked 1 time]
- by James MacMillan (b. 1959), "The children", 1995, first performed 1995, stanzas 1-5 [voice and piano], from Three Scottish Songs, no. 3. [ sung text checked 1 time]
Research team for this text: Iain Sneddon [Guest Editor] , Mike Pearson
Text added to the website: 2015-03-10 00:00:00
Last modified: 2018-11-26 18:26:12
Line count: 18
Word count: 109