Thy beauty, O Israel (Michael Wise)

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  • (Posted 2016-10-31)   CPDL #41645:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2016-10-31).   Score information: A4, 9 pages, 121 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: From Cathedral Music, Volume 3 (William Boyce). Clefs modernised and key signature corrected to C minor. According to Boyce, this version has additions by Henry Aldrich. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
  • (Posted 2015-05-31)   CPDL #35621:         
Editor: Jonathan Goodliffe (submitted 2015-05-31).   Score information: Letter, 8 pages, 84 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transcribed from the Aldrich manuscript score in Christ Church College, Oxford. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Thy beauty, O Israel
Composer: Michael Wise
Lyricist:

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB with solo passages for bass, and 2 tenors
Genre: SacredVerse anthemSacred lament

Language: English
Instruments: Keyboard

First published: 1773 in Cathedral Music, Volume 3, p. 208

Description: A verse anthem To be sung at morning prayer for 30th January, the anniversary of the execution of King Charles I. The section starting "O Jonathan" was parodied by Handel in his oratorio "Saul"

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text


Adapted from the Bible, 2 Samuel chapter 1

Thy beauty, O Israel is slain upon the high places: how are the mighty fall'n!
Tell it not in Gath, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice
Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon
Lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.

Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain
Upon you, nor fields of offerings, for there the shield of the mighty
Is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul as if it had not been anointed with oil.
Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon
Lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.

From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty,
The bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.
Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives and in their deaths were not divided
Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.
How are the mighty fall'n in the midst of the battle.

Thy beauty, O Israel is slain upon the high places: how are the mighty fall'n!
O Jonathan, O my brother Jonathan thou wast slain in thine high places
I am distressed for thee.Very pleasant hast though been
O Jonathan, thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
How are the mighty fall'n and the weapons of the war are perished.