The minstrel's song

Set by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 - 1958), "The minstrel's song", 1957, published 1957 [ baritone, mixed chorus, orchestra ], from cantata Epithalamion, no. 9, London, Oxford University Press  [sung text checked 1 time]

Note: this setting is made up of several separate texts.


Now welcome, Night! thou night so long expected,
That long daies labour doest at last defray, 
And all my cares, which cruell Love collected,
Hast sumd in one, and cancelled for aye.
Spread thy broad wing over my Love and me,
That no man may us see; 
And in thy sable mantle us enwrap,
From feare of perrill and foule horror free.
[ ... ]

Authorship

Confirmed with The Poetical Works of Edmund Spenser, Volume V, edited by Francis J. Child, London: Imprinted for William Ponsonbie, dwelling in Paules Churchyard at the Signe of the Bishops Head, 1591.

Modernized spelling used in Vaughan Williams's music:

Now welcome night! thou night so long expected,
That long day's labour dost at last defray,
And all my cares, which cruel love collected,
Hast summed in one, and cancellèd for aye:
Spread thy broad wing over my love and me,   
that no man may us see,
And in thy sable mantle us enwrap,
From fear of peril and foul horror free...

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Gustav Ringel


But let stil Silence trew night-watches keepe,
That sacred Peace may in assurance rayne,
And tymely Sleep, when it is tyme to sleepe,
May poure his limbs forth on your pleasant playne.
[ ... ]

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Confirmed with The Poetical Works of Edmund Spenser, Volume V, edited by Francis J. Child, London: Imprinted for William Ponsonbie, dwelling in Paules Churchyard at the Signe of the Bishops Head, 1591.

Modernized spelling used in Vaughan Williams's music (The minstrel's song):

But let still Silence true night watches keep,
That sacred peace may in assurance reign,
And timely sleep, when it is time to sleep,
May pour his limbs forth on your pleasant plain...

Modernized spelling used in Vaughan William's music (Song of the winged loves):

The whiles an hundred little wingèd loves,
Like divers fethered doves,
Shall fly and flutter round about your bed,    
And in the secret dark, that none reproves
Their pretty stealths shall work, and snares shall spread
To filch away sweet snatches of delight,
Concealed through covert night.

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Gustav Ringel