At first the mountain rill (George Alexander Macfarren)

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Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-11-13).   Score information: Letter, 12 pages, 515 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2020-02-29)  CPDL #57275:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2020-02-29).   Score information: A4, 8 pages, 114 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: At first the mountain rill
Composer: George Alexander Macfarren
Lyricist: John Oxenford

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: Keyboard or a cappella

First published: 1881 in Novello's Part-Song Book (2nd series), Vol. 14, no. 393
Description: Part-song from the opera Jessy Lea

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

At first the mountain rill is weak,
And from its prison scarce can break;
Then each pebble in the way
Seems enough its course to stay.

Spreading as it glides along,
Soon it is a torrent strong;
And its path is broad and free,
As it bounds into the sea.

At first the mountain rill is weak,
But spreading as it glides along,
A torrent strong, its path is broad and free,
As it bounds into the sea.

Thus love is oft so weak at first,
That e'en the heart in which 'tis nursed
Scarcely can its presence feel;
But its power will soon reveal;

And so mighty is its force,
Nothing can restrain its course.
Riches, honours, what are they?
Love through all will find a way.