A.D. 1919 (Horatio W. Parker)

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  • (Posted 2018-02-06)  CPDL #48714:       
Editor: Douglas Walczak (submitted 2018-02-06).   Score information: Letter, 37 pages, 387 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Includes a piano-vocal score of the original accompaniment.

General Information

Title: A.D. 1919
, Opus 84

Composer: Horatio W. Parker
Lyricist: Brian Hookercreate page (1880-1946)

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularOratorio for fallen Yale alumni

Language: English
Instruments: Orchestra

First published: 1919

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

There's a clamour of many voices,
There's a murmur of marching feet,
And a music that rejoices
Where the ranks move down the street;

Friends with the heart of strangers,
Boys with the eyes of men,
Having endured all dangers
And so returned again.

Therefore with banners burning
And cheers that rise and roll
Honour to these returning
Who saved our honour whole.

Kingdoms and Dominations
Have owned their fighting worth
This common clay of nations
Clad in the hue of earth;

These common souls and human
Who laugh their sins abroad
But hide the love of woman
And seek the fear of God.

Through poison, fire, and prison
Unscared, unscathed, they came
The sons of Man arisen
Against the sons of Shame.

What of the many others
Forever overseas
Lovers and sons and brothers
Like these, yet not like these?

For two shall have toiled and striven
Equal in worst and best.
And to one shall be glory given.
And to another, rest.

For two shall have trod one measure
And of one cup drunk deep.
And one shall sweet pleasure
And one shall have sweet sleep.

Look where the soft clouds blossom
0’er the green country-side.
And the earth clothes her bosom
In beauty as a bride.

Can any peace delight them
Whose delights rest undone.
Of any heaven requite them
For this world wooed and won?

Filled full and flushed with morning
They sang and took the sword
The night came without warning,
And where is their reward?

As a man makes a garden
Not for the fruits repaid
But only to be warden
Of life his hands have made;

As a woman bears her children
Not that their loves atone.
But only to look upon them
And know them for her own.

O youth foregone, foregoing!
O dreams unseen, unsought!
God give you joy of knowing
What life your death has bought.

For our fathers gone before us,
That they have not toiled in vain;
For the mother hearts that bore us
And shall not waste their pain;

For the childhood games and laughter
And the sorrows that turn their tears
to a song in the heart hereafter
Unto the end of years.

For these, and what else unspoken
Live when a soldier dies,
You are the body broken
You are the Sacrifice.

For the flower from the clad emerging
And the fire from the cloud released.
For the wife that is more than virgin
And the man that is more than beast;

For the spirit in strange communion
With earth, yet more than earth
The mystery of union
The miracle of birth.

For these, and what holier dreaming
Our dust and its deeds have meant.
You are the blood redeeming.
You are the Sacrament.

For the pure fear that hovers.
The sure faith that descends
Between the lips of lovers.
Between the eyes of friends

All giving beyond repayment.
All truth neither bought nor sold.
The body more than raiment
And the soul more than gold

In all that we live believing.
In all that we might have lost,
You are the spirit living
You are the Pentecost.

Your hands confirm our manhood,
Your hearts hold women true.
And the wide eyes of children
Are clean because of you.

Thro’ desperate wars undaunted
Our future arms retain
Your gift of fear confronted.
Your gift of conquered pain.

Stronger when foes dispute you.
Wiser when fools deny,
We who must live salute you
Who have found strength to die!

Bring flowers they loved. Let trumpets Sound,
and the feast be spread!
Shall not earth live the fairer
For their sake who are dead?

Not ashes nor any sorrow
Be borne for such as they.
Give them the golden morrow
They dwelt in yesterday!

Seeing our days inherit
What joys they dared forego.
Surely they see and share it—
Surely they know, they know!

There’s a clamour of many voices.
There’s a murmur of marching feet.
And a music that rejoices
Where the ranks move down the street;

Friends with the hearts of strangers,
Boys with the eyes of men,
And souls that have done with dangers
And slept, and risen again.

Among them, above them,
The unseen legions throng.
With the gold of our dreams we have crowned them.
And their robes are the sound of our song.

Therefore with banners burning
With lights and garlands dressed
Honour to these returning.
Honour to those at rest.