Are the white hours for ever fled (John Wall Callcott)

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  • (Posted 2021-09-20)  CPDL #65834:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2021-09-20).   Score information: A4, 9 pages, 230 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: from the edition in Novello's Glee Hive.
  • (Posted 2011-08-06)  CPDL #24102:        (Sibelius 5)
Editor: Jonathan Goodliffe (submitted 2011-08-06).   Score information: A4, 12 pages, 107 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Are the white hours for ever fled
Composer: John Wall Callcott

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: ATTB
Genre: SecularGlee

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella (originally). Piano accompaniment added by William Horsley (1774-1858).

First published:
    2nd published: 1852 Novello's Glee Hive no.31
Description: A four part glee set to a poem included in the "Wiccamical chaplet", edited by George Huddesford (1749-1809). The poem is described as "Anacreontic".

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Note: only the lines appearing in bold were set to the music. "Killing" and "heavenly" in the original poem were replaced with "blooming". It is not clear whether this was done by the composer or by Horsley, who published a compendium of his works after the composer's death.

Are the white hours for ever fled
That used to mark the cheerful day?
And every blooming [killing] pleasure dead
That led the enraptured soul away?
Too fast the rosy-footed train,
The blessed, delicious moments passed;
Pleasure must now give way to pain,
And grief succeeds to joy at last.

O, daughters of eternal Jove!
Return with the returning year:
Bring pleasure back again and love!
With blooming [heavenly] smiles again appear!
O bring my H___y to my sight!
What happy hour will then be by?
And while I'm dying with delight,
Her soul shall speak through either eye.
Let sacred friendship too attend;
The man whose soul is most like mine.
Bring B____, my ever dearest friend,
And fill the bowl with rosy wine :
We'll grasp the minutes as they pass,
Unconscious of all future woes;
Mirth, love and joy shall crown each glass,
And cast our sorrows to our foes.

Let every white and happy hour
Which fate has to my life decreed
With rosy wings its blessings shower,
And each in order still succeed:
But when the short-lived smiling store
No longer can my bliss engage,
Cut off the useless thousands more
And add them to some coward's age!