The Old Graveyard (Frederick N. Baxter)

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  • (Posted 2023-09-20)  CPDL #75555:     
Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-09-20).   Score information: Letter, 12 pages, 533 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: The Old Graveyard
Composer: Frederick N. Baxter
Lyricist: Dulcinea Minerva Mason Jordan
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1897 J. Curwen & Sons
Description: Composer’s note: “Part-Song in the manner of Mendelssohn. Suggested by the fiftieth anniversary of his death.”

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Blow soft and low, O whispering wind!
    Above the tangled grasses deep,
Where those who loved me long ago
    Forgot the world, and fell asleep.
No towering shaft or sculptured urn,
    Or mausoleum’s empty pride
Tells to the curious passerby
    Their virtues or the time they died.

I count the old familiar names,
    O’ergrown with moss and lichen grey,
Where tangled briar and creeping vine
    Across the crumbling tablets stray.
The summer sky is softly blue,
    The birds still sing the sweet old strain;
But something from the summertime
    Is gone that will not come again.

So many voices have been hushed,
    So many songs have ceased for aye,
So many hands I used to clasp
    Are folded over hearts of clay;
The busy world recedes from me—
    I cease to hear its praise or blame;
The mossy marbles echo back
    No hollow sound of empty fame.

I only know, that, calm and still,
    They sleep beyond life’s woe and wail,
Beyond the fleet of sailing clouds,
    Beyond the shadow of the vale.
I only feel, that, tired and worn,
    I halt upon the highway bare,
And gaze, with yearning eyes, beyond
    To fields that shine supremely fair.