While absent from these faithful arms (Nanny O) (Joseph Haydn)

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  • (Posted 2020-03-01)  CPDL #57314:  Network.png
Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2020-03-01).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 54 kB   Copyright: CC BY SA
Edition notes: Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download. Separate violin part provided

General Information

Title: While absent from these faithful arms (Nanny O)
Composer: Joseph Haydn
Lyricist: William Pearcecreate page

Number of voices: 1v   Voicing: Solo high
Genre: SecularFolksong

Language: English
Instruments: Keyboard, violin accompaniment

First published: 1792 in A selection of Original Scots Songs
Description: Hob. XXXIa.37 Fakesong from the Celtic tweelight

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

While absent from these faithful arms,
O'er distant hills my Henry hies,
Fears fondly framed my breast alarms,
And tears of passion bathe my eyes.
Along this secret grove I stray,
For oft at eve I've met him here,
And to illusive thought a prey,
I turn and fancy he is near.

Beneath these oaks, how he would kneel
And vow his love with life would last!
But mem'ry heightens all I feel,
With pain I recollect the past.
Some fairy guide me to the spot
Where hides the sov'reign of this heart;
Adieu sweet vales, adieu sweet cot,
My snowy lambs and I must part.

Thro' woods and wilds, 'midst thorns and brakes,
For thee, my lad, my way I'll keep,
'Til strength this tender frame forsakes;
When wearied, lie me down and wee.
But O, return, perfidious swain,
Thou weary wand'rer, cease to rove.
Ah, I haste to these fond arms again,
For none you meet like me will live.