Heart of Spring (Mark Chapman)

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  • (Posted 2020-01-16)  CPDL #56655:           
Editor: Mark Chapman (submitted 2020-01-16).   Score information: A4, 14 pages, 262 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes: The music may be freely performed etc. but the poem is copyright University of Sydney (Australia). When I spoke to them about it, they seemed pretty relaxed about non-commercial use.

General Information

Title: Heart of Spring
Composer: Mark Chapman
Lyricist: John Shaw Neilson

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: Never published
Description: This poem by an Australian author was set during a period where the composer made a point of seeking out poetry from his native country. It's a fairly old-fashioned poem, even for the period it was written, so the Stanford-like musical language used seemed appropriate. Choirs are invited to perform it with or without piano accompaniment.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Please note that this text is © University of Sydney Library and is not to be used for commercial purposes without permission https://sydneyuniversitypress.com.au/pages/contact-us

English.png English text

O HEART of Spring!
Spirit of light and love and joyous day
So soon to faint beneath the fiery Summer:
Still smiles the Earth, eager for thee alway:
Welcome art thou, so ever short thy stay,
Thou bold, thou blithe newcomer!
Whither, oh whither this thy journeying,
O Heart of Spring!

O Heart of Spring!
After the stormy days of Winter's reign
When the keen winds their last lament are sighing
The Sun shall raise thee up to life again:
In thy dim death thou shalt not suffer pain:
Surely thou dost not fear this quiet dying?
Whither, oh whither blithely journeying,
O Heart of Spring!

O Heart of Spring!
Youth's emblem, ancient as unchanging light,
Uncomprehended, unconsumed, still burning:
Oh that we could, as thee, rise from the night
To find a world of blossoms lilac-white
And long-winged swallows unafraid returning…
Whither, oh whither this thy journeying,
O Heart of Spring!