Green thorn of the hill of ghosts (John Wall Callcott)

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  • (Posted 2009-11-03)  CPDL #20443:        (Sibelius 5)
Editor: Jonathan Goodliffe (submitted 2009-11-03).   Score information: A4, 8 pages, 82 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Dynamics and tempo indications are probably by Horsley. A "forte" has been added editorially to bar 55.

General Information

Title: Green thorn of the hill of ghosts
Composer: John Wall Callcott
Lyricist: Ossian
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: ATTB
Genre: SecularGlee

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

First published:
Description: A four part glee. In Horsley’s edition Ossian’s “windy skirt” has been changed to “shadowy form”. Horsley may have regarded the image of a windy skirt, anticipating by 150 years Marilyn Monroe’s famous scene in “The seven year itch”, to be too indecent for the readership of Callcott’s collected works.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Text from "Temora" by "Ossian" ((James Macpherson (1736-1796))

Green thorn of the hill of ghosts, that shakest thy head to nightly winds! I hear no sound in thee, is there no spirit's windy skirt [shadowy form] now rustling in thy leaves? Often are the steps of the dead, in the dark-eddying blasts; when the moon, a dun shield, from the east is rolled along the sky.