Tears, idle tears, Op. 68:4 (Charles Villiers Stanford)

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  • (Posted 2017-07-22)   CPDL #45552:        
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2017-07-22).   Score information: A4, 11 pages, 147 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Tears, idle tears, Op.68:4
Composer: Charles Villiers Stanford
Lyricist: Alfred Tennyson

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: Piano

First published: 1898

Description:

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather in the eyes,
In looking on the happy autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.

Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,
That brings our friends up from the underworld,
Sad as the last which reddens over one
That sinks with all we love below the verge;
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.

Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.

Dear as remembered kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more!