I heard an Angel singing When the day was springing, "Mercy, Pity, Peace Is the world's release." Thus he sung all day Over the new mown hay, Till the sun went down And haycocks looked brown. I heard a Devil curse Over the heath and the furze, "Mercy could be no more, If there was nobody poor, And pity no more could be, If all were as happy as we." At his curse the sun went down, And the heavens gave a frown. Down pour'd the heavy rain Over the new reap'd grain ... And Miseries' increase Is Mercy, Pity, Peace.
About the headline (FAQ)
- by William Blake (1757 - 1827) [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 William Henry Bell (1873 - 1946), "I heard an angel singing", 1940, from Twelve Blake Songs, no. 12 [sung text not yet checked]
- by William Bolcom (b. 1938), "I heard an angel singing", 1966 [ chorus of alto and tenor or counter-tenor voices, alto flute, harp, piano, and viola ], from Morning and Evening Poems, no. 2 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Johan Franco (1908 - 1988), "I heard an Angel singing", published 1966 [ men's chorus or women's chorus and piano ], from Seven Songlets, no. 2, Cincinnati World Library Publications [sung text not yet checked]
- by John Linton Gardner (1917 - 2011), "I heard an Angel singing ", op. 85 no. 2 (1967) [ mixed chorus a cappella ], from Proverbs of Hell, no. 2 [sung text not yet checked]
- by (Peter) Alexander Goehr (b. 1932), "I heard an Angel singing ", op. 17 no. 6 (1964), published c1965 [ mixed chorus a cappella ], from Five Poems and an Epigram of William Blake, no. 6, London : Schott [sung text not yet checked]
- by Ernst Křenek (1900 - 1991), "I heard an Angel", op. 226b (1976), published c1977, first performed 1977 [ SATB chorus and piano ], from Two Settings of Poems by William Blake, no. 2, NY : Rongwen Music (Broude Bros.) [sung text not yet checked]
- by Elie Siegmeister (1909 - 1991), "I heard an Angel singing", 1965, c1977 [ chorus and piano ], from In Our Time, no. 1 [sung text not yet checked]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 101