The Hawthorn Tree (Gustav Holst)

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  • (Posted 2004-07-21)  CPDL #07677:       
Editor: Ty Kroll (submitted 2004-07-21).   Score information: Letter, 25 pages, 544 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: based on 'Dargason - 2nd Suite in F for Military band, choral arranged by Ty Kroll. The score states that it may be distributed only in the USA, however, Holst's works are now out of copyright in the UK and possibly other European countries as well. Please refer to this page for more information.

General Information

Title: The Hawthorn Tree
Composer: Gustav Holst

Number of voices: 7vv   Voicing: SSAATBB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published:

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

It was a maid of my country
As she came by a hawthorn tree,
As full of flow'rs as might be seen,
She marvelled to see the tree so green,

At last she asked of the tree
How came this freshness unto thee?
And every branch so fair and clean!
I marvel that you grow so green,

The tree made answer by and by,
I've cause to grow triumphantly
The sweetest dew that ever be seen
Doth fall on me to keep me green.

Yes, quoth the maid, but where you grow
You stand at hand for every blow
Of every man for to be seen
I marvel that you grow so green,

Though many one take flowers from me
And many a branch out of my tree
I have such store they will not be seen,
For more and more my twigs grow green,

But how, an they chance to cut thee down,
And bring thy branches into town?
Your branches never more be seen,
To grow again so fresh and green.

Though that you do it is no boot
Although they cut me to the root,
Next year again I will be seen
To bud my branches fresh and green.

And you, fair maid can not do so,
For when your beauty once does go
Then will it never more be seen,
As I my branches can grow green.

The maid with that began to blush
And turn'd her from the hawthorn bush
She thought herself so fair and clean,
Her beauty still would ever grow green.

But after this never I could hear
Of this fair maiden anywhere
That ever she was in forest green
To talk again with the hawthorn green.