It is not always May (John Francis Barnett)

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  • (Posted 2023-09-19)  CPDL #75524:     
Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-09-19).   Score information: Letter, 8 pages, 644 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: It is not always May
Composer: John Francis Barnett
Lyricist: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1880 Novello, Ewer, and Co.
Description: 

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

No hay pajaros en los nidos de antano
-Spanish Proverb

The sun is bright,— the air is clear,
    The darting swallows soar and sing,
And from the stately elms I hear
    The bluebird prophesying Spring.

So blue yon winding river flows,
    It seems an outlet from the sky,
Where, waiting till the west wind blows,
    The freighted clouds at anchor lie.

All things are new;— the buds, the leaves,
    That gild the elm-tree’s nodding crest,
And even the nest beneath the eaves;—
    There are no birds in last year’s nest!

All things rejoice in youth and love,
    The fulness of their first delight!
And learn from the heavens above
    The melting tenderness of night.

Maiden, that hear’st this simple rhyme,
    Enjoy thy youth, it will not stay;
Enjoy the fragrance of thy prime,
    For oh, it is not always May!

Enjoy the Spring of Love and Youth,
    To some good angel leave the rest;
For Time will teach thee soon the truth,
    There are no birds in last year’s nest!