Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sunday Poetry - Shakespeare and Finzi

The other night I was reading the April edition of BBC Music magazine. I know it's October now but I'm six months behind with most of the magazines I read thanks to my library's Zinio subscription. It was a special issue on British music & one of the articles was about the life of Gerald Finzi (there's a website dedicated to his life & work here). I've always loved his Shakespeare song cycle, Let Us Garlands Bring, especially when sung by Bryn Terfel, so I thought I would combine Shakespeare & Finzi; poetry & song today & share one of the songs, Come Away, Come Away, Death, from Twelfth Night.
Thanks to Spotify I was also able to explore more Finzi & I especially loved the Eclogue for piano & strings & the Romance in E flat major (beautiful photos of snowy Derbyshire in this clip). One of the wonderful things about the internet (& probably one of the reasons why I'm six months behind in my magazine reading) is that it's so easy to go off on a tangent & explore a new composer or read more about something mentioned in an article. Then there's all the free content from my library through Zinio & our eBook providers.

(I do realise that the photo is upside down, I'm not trying to be arty. It's the right way up in Photo Studio but when I download it here, it's upside down... I thought I'd be clever & turn it upside down in Photo Studio but it was still upside down here)

Come away, come away, death,
    And in sad cypress let me be laid.
Fly away, fly away, breath;
    I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
             O, prepare it!
My part of death, no one so true
         Did share it.

Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
    On my black coffin let there be strown.
Not a friend, not a friend greet
    My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown.
A thousand thousand sighs to save,
             Lay me, O, where
Sad true lover never find my grave,
             To weep there!


  1. I recognized the 'sad cypress' line immediately, Lyn - Agatha Christie used this source for the title of one of her more popular books.

    1. Yes, it was one of the Christies I remember quite well. I always enjoy her use of quotes from Shakespeare or poetry for titles.