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Oxford Lieder Festival Live Online


Like to the Damask Rose (1892)

Like to the Damask Rose

Like to the damask rose you see,
Or like the blossom on a tree,
Or like the dainty flow’r of May,
Or like the morning of the day,
Or like the sun, or like the shade,
Or like the gourd which Jonas had,
Even such is man, whose thread is spun,
Drawn out, and cut, and so is done :
The rose withers, the blossom blasteth,
The flower fades, the morning hasteth,
The sun sets, the shadow flies,
The gourd consumes, the man, he dies.
Like to the grass that’s newly sprung,
Or like a tale that’s new begun,
Or like a bird that’s here to-day,
Or like the pearled dew of May,
Or like an hour, or like a span,
Or like the singing of a swan,
Even such is man, who lives by breath,
Is here, now there, in life, and death :
The grass withers, the tale is ended,
The bird is flown, the dew’s ascended,
The hour is short, the span not long,
The swan’s near death, — man’s life is done.

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Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet OM GCVO (2 June 1857 – 23 February 1934) was an English composer. His best-known compositions include the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies. He also composed choral works, chamber music, and songs. He was appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1924.

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