Hymn and Her…

https://i0.wp.com/www.classicalcicerone.com/illustrations/gustav-holst.jpgI see that today is the birthday of the great English composer Gustav Holst (1874-1934).

Unfortunately, I’m back too late and too tired to write anything now about why his music has mattered to me right from the start; I’ll have to come back another time and fill in this blogging gap.

Meantime, here is one of the pieces whose connection with my life I will explain on that later occasion.

Lyrics first, since they are of some interest…

On Betelgeuse
the gold leaves hang in golden aisles
for twice a hundred million miles,
and twice a hundred million years
they golden hang and nothing stirs,
on Betelgeuse.

Space is a wind that does
not blow on Betelgeuse,
and time — oh time — is a bird,
whose wings have never stirred
the golden avenues of leaves
on Betelgeuse.

On Betelgeuse
there is nothing that joys or grieves
the unstirred multitude of leaves,
nor ghost of evil or good haunts
the gold multitude
on Betelgeuse.

And birth they do not use
nor death on Betelgeuse,
and the God, of whom we are
infinite dust, is there
a single leaf of those
gold leaves on Betelgeuse.

(Poem [publ. 1925] by Humbert Wolfe [1885-1940]; Holst’s setting 1929; publ. 1930.)

And here — as my bedtime rapidly approaches — 30 seconds; 29 seconds; 28 seconds… — are two Holst pieces that I am including because I think my friend Xenia will like them…


That’s all, folks…


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