Ocean Burial (George N. Allen)

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  • (Posted 2023-09-14)  CPDL #75385:       
Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-09-14).   Score information: Letter, 12 pages, 726 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Ocean Burial
Composer: George N. Allen
Lyricist: Edwin Hubbell Chapin
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1885 Oliver Ditson Co.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

“O bury me not in the deep, deep sea!”
The words came faint and mournfully,
From the pallid lips of a youth, who lay
On the cabin couch, where day by day,
He had wasted and pined till o’er his brow,
The death-shade had slowly passed, and now,
When the land and his fond-loved home were nigh,
They had gathered around him to see him die.

“O bury me not in the deep, deep sea,
Where the billowy shroud will roll over me—
Where no light can break through the dark cold wave,
And no sunbeam rest upon my grave.
‘It matters not,’ I have oft been told,
‘Where the body shall lie when the heart is cold’—
Yet grant ye, oh, grant ye this boon to me,
O! bury me not in the deep, deep sea!

“For in fancy I’ve listened to the well known words—
The free, wild wind, and the song of birds—
I have thought of home, of cot and bower,
And of scenes that I loved in childhood’s hour.
I have ever hoped to be laid, when I died,
In the church-yard there on the green hill side—
By the hones or my fathers my grave should be—
O! bury me not in the deep, deep sea!

“Let my death slumber be where a mother’s prayer
And a sister’s tears can be blended there.
Oh! ’twill be sweet, ere the heart’s throb is o’er,
To know when its fountain shall gush no more,
That those who have fondly hath yearned for will come
To plant the first wild-flowers of spring on my tomb.
Let me lie where the loved ones can weep over me,
Bury me not in the deep, deep sea.

“And there is another, her tears would be shed
For him who lay on an ocean bed.
In hours that it· pains me to think of now,
She hath twined these locks and kissed 1his brow—
In the hair she hath wreathed shall the sea-snake hiss?
The brow she hath pressed shall the cold wave kiss?
For the sake of that bright one who waiteth for me,
Bury me not in the deep, deep sea.”
“She hath been in my dreams.” His voice failed there;
They gave no heed to his dying prayer.
• • • • •
They have lowered him slow o’er the vessel’s side—
Above him hath closed the solemn tide.
Where to dip their light wings the sea-fowls rest—
Where the blue waves dance o’er the ocean’s crest—
Where the billows bound and the winds sport free—
They have buried him there in the deep, deep sea.