Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Rik George writes

The Singing Boy

Angels might envy his boy’s soprano. 

His “White Coral Bells” enraptured 
an audience of parents and teachers, 
his “O, Holy Night” beguiled them 
to set their hearts on sacred things. 
At six he tore my homework in pieces. 
At seven he punched my stomach. At eight 
he tried to drown me in the toilet. 
At nine, he beat my head on the curb. 
I fought back, then. The teacher caught us, 
and punished me. She did not think 
a demon child could sing like an angel. 
At ten he moved, I hoped to Hell, 
where he could never sing on key.
Hieronymus Bosch, "The Garden of Earthly Delights" (1480-1505), oil on panel (via Prado Museum)
The Garden of Earthly Delights [detail] -- Hieronymus Bosch

1 comment:

  1. White Coral Bells

    White coral bells
    Upon a slender stalk
    Lilies of the valley deck my garden walk
    Oh, don't you wish that you might hear them ring?
    That will happen only when the fairies sing.

    O Holy Night

    O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
    It is the night of our dear Savior's birth.
    Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
    Till He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
    A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
    For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

    Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
    O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
    O night divine, O night, O night divine

    Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
    With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
    So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
    Here come the wise men from the Orient land.
    The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
    In all our trials born to be our friend.

    He knows our need, to our weaknesses no stranger,
    Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
    Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!

    Truly He taught us to love one another;
    His law is love and His gospel is peace.
    Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
    And in His name all oppression shall cease.
    Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
    Let all within us praise His holy name.

    Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
    His power and glory evermore proclaim.
    His power and glory evermore proclaim

    When the church organ was renovated in Roquemaure, 12 km (7.5 mi) at the end of 1843, the parish priest asked wine merchant and poet Placide Cappeau to write a Christmas poem to celebrate the event. Later in the year Adolphe Adam, a prolific composer of operas and ballets in Paris, composed music to "Minuit, chrétiens!" (Midnight, Christians). Opera singer Emily Laurey premiered the song in Roquemaure in 1847.
    Unitarian minister and Boston music teacher John Sullivan Dwight translated the song into English in 1855.


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