by Anonymous / Unidentified Author
Translation by Alma Strettell (1856 - 1939)

A Corsican Dirge
Language: English  after the Corsican 
I set forth from the calanche
Ere the dawn begins to hover.
Torch in hand I wander seeking
In the orchard, through the cover,
Seeking till I find my father.
But they’ve slain him, it is ever.

Higher up the slope, O comrade,
Thou wilt find Matteo sleeping;
He who lies here is my father,
And this is my place for weeping.
Gather up his tools and bring them,
With his apron of brown leather.
Father wilt thou not be going
To thy work this sunny weather?
Father slain and brother wounded,
They have slain them both together.

Fetch me here my scissors quickly,
Do not linger in the going,
I will straight cut off my tresses,
Staunch with them the red wounds flowing,
For my father’s blood in crimson
Stains upon my hand is showing.
I will steep my kerchief, father,
In thy life-blood, that thereafter
I may wear it whensoever
I am moved to idle laughter.

Up and down the hill I wander,
Past the Holy Stations, crying
Always after thee, my father:
Do but speak one word replying.
They have crucified him, even
Like the Saviour’s crucifying. 


Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Christopher Howell

This text was added to the website: 2020-10-11
Line count: 32
Word count: 190