Returning We Hear the Larks 

The Helsinki Chamber Choir

Words by Isaac Rosenberg

The Silent Copse

The Latvian Radio Choir

Words by Edward Sparkes

Recorded with the Helsinki Chamber Choir as part of Tenso Days Copenhagen 2016, conducted by James Wood.  (Tenso Young Composer's Workshop).

Sombre the night is: 
And, though we have our lives, we know 
What sinister threat lurks there.

Dragging these anguished limbs, we only know 
This poison-blasted track opens on our camp— 
On a little safe sleep.

But hark! Joy—joy—strange joy. 
Lo! Heights of night ringing with unseen larks: 
Music showering on our upturned listening faces.

Death could drop from the dark 
As easily as song— 
But song only dropped, 
Like a blind man's dreams on the sand 
By dangerous tides;
Like a girl's dark hair, for she dreams no ruin lies there, 
Or her kisses where a serpent hides.

Isaac Rosenberg, 1917. 

Recorded with the Latvian Radio Choir as part of Tenso Days Mechelen, 2016.

 

In the silent copse,
beech boughs bow
on wealden winds
from distant downland tops.

In the silent copse,
the vixen vows
in vehement voice
through ivy veiled slopes.

In the silent copse,
hazel hulls
neath squirrel drey
by banks of sleeping brocks.

Edward Sparkes