The Golden Year (Henry David Leslie)

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  • (Posted 2023-11-09)  CPDL #77142:     
Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-11-09).   Score information: Letter, 12 pages, 630 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: The Golden Year
Composer: Henry David Leslie
Lyricist: Alfred Tennyson
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB, divisi
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1880 Harper & Brothers

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

We sleep and wake and sleep, but all things move;
The Sun flies forward to his brother Sun;
The dark Earth follows wheel’d in her ellipse;
And human things returning on themselves
Move onward, leading up the golden year.

Ah, tho’ the times, when some new thought can bud,
Are but as poets’ seasons when they flower,
Yet seas, that daily gain upon the shore,
Have ebb and flow conditioning their march,
And slow and sure comes up the golden year.

When wealth no more shall rest in mounded heaps,
But smit with freer light shall slowly melt
In many streams to fatten lower lands,
And light shall spread, and man be liker man
Thro’ all the season of the golden year.

Shall eagles not be eagles? wrens be wrens?
If all the world were falcons, what of that?
The wonder of the eagle were the less,
But he not less the eagle. Happy days
Roll onward, leading up the golden year.

Fly, happy, happy sails fly and bear the Press;
Fly happy with the mission of the Cross;
Knit land to land, and blowing havenward
With silks, and fruits, and spices, clear of toll,
Enrich the markets of the golden year.

But we grow old. Ah! when shall all men’s good
Be each man’s rule, and universal Peace
Lie like a shaft of light across the land,
And like a lane of beams athwart the sea,
Thro’ all the circle of the golden year?