Skip to main content


Oxford Lieder Live Online


The Second Lute Song of the Earl of Essex (from Gloriana) (1957)

The Second Lute Song of the Earl of Essex (from Gloriana)

Happy were he could finish forth his fate
in some unhaunted desert, most obscure
from all societies, from love and hate
of worldly folk; then might he sleep secure;
then wake again, and give God ever praise,
content with hips and haws and bramble-berry;
in contemplation spending all his days,
and change of holy thoughts to make him merry;
where, when he dies, his tomb may be a bush,
where harmless robin dwells with gentle thrush.
Happy, happy were he, happy were he.
from 'Gloriana' - libretto by William Plomer

If you would like to use our texts and translations, please click here for more information.


Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976) was an English composer, conductor and pianist. He was a central figure of 20th-century British classical music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music, orchestral and chamber pieces. His best-known works include the opera Peter Grimes (1945), the War Requiem (1962) and the orchestral showpiece The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (1945).

Information from Wikipedia. Click here for more information.

See Full Entry

Sorry, no further description available.

Previously performed at:

Mailing List