The Indian Maid (John Liptrot Hatton)

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  • (Posted 2019-04-13)  CPDL #53960:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2019-04-13).   Score information: A4, 10 pages, 140 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: The Indian Maid
Composer: John Liptrot Hatton
Lyricist: Camilla Dufour Crosland

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB

Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: Keyboard

First published: 1869 in Novello Part-Song Book (2nd Series), Vol. 1, no. 60
Description: The source has the following note: "According to a well-known superstition, the Hindoo maiden floats her lamp upon the Ganges and, murmuring a musical incantation, draws an augury of her destiny from the fate of the light."

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1  A dusky maid, with ebon hair,
Sits by the Ganges river;
With hope and fear her bosom heaves,
Her parted lips they quiver.
A finer light is in her eye,
Than that whose fitful shining
Now thrills her soul with sudden joy,
Now sets it to repining!
And as the river flows along,
She softly sings her mystic song.

2  For on the Ganges' sacred stream,
Her fateful lamp is floating,
And as it flames, or as it dies,
Shall be her lover's doating.
A thousand stars are in the sky,
Like gems on hidden fingers:
But eye unused to upward gaze,
On lurid light still lingers!
And as the river flows along,
She softly sings her mystic song.

3  Oh, not for us, with idle thought,
To scorn the Indian maiden;
We too may watch our earthen lamps,
With lotus wreath'd and laden!
But when, through tears, we see them quench'd,
And round us sorrows cluster,
'Tis well the beacon stars glow on,
 With heav'n-kindled lustre!
And well Life's river flowing by,
Still flows beneath a starry sky,