A chafer's wedding (Louis Lewandowski)

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  • (Posted 2020-06-25)  CPDL #59361:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2020-06-25).   Score information: A4, 21 pages, 228 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: In English
Translation by John Troutbeck . Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score.

General Information

Title: A chafer's wedding, Op. 30
Composer: Louis Lewandowski
Lyricist: Rudolf Löwenstein

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: a cappella

First published: 1884 in Novello's Part-Song Book (2nd series), Vol. 17, no. 482

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

I'll pray the monkshood lend her carriage,
That we may use it for the marriage.
The carriage halts before the gate,
O lovely bride, for thee we wait.

Then horsemen someone else must lend us.
That they to church may now attend us.
Behold the horsemen at the gate,
O lovely bride, for thee we wait.

Yet one thing gives me care and sorrow.
A wedding wreath, where can I borrow?
The fairest flowers are here at hand,
All in array we'd see thee stand.

Thy locks, O bride, thou must be decking,
For hear the flowerbells music making.
The flies in jewelled splendour glance,
They come to joint the wedding dance.

But say, our future home, where is it?
Deep in the flowers ye love to visit.
And say, where shall we wedded be?
To the sacred lily bear we thee.
The carriage halts before the gate,
O lovely bride, for thee we wait.

Welcome guest each one we call,
Enter all.
Bee, declare what bring'st thou home?
Fly, say next what fare is thine?
Milk and wine.
Wasp, thy gift the season fits!
Dainty bits.
Butterfly,and thou dost bring?
Scents of spring.
Spider, what hst thou tday?
Rich array.
What dost thou, rose-chafer, hold?
Store of gold.
What dost thou bring, glow-worm bright?
Taper kight.
Gadfly, what dost thou supply?
Dance-notes I.
Gnat, are thou a giftless guest?
Dancing is by far the best!
Light of foot, and light of thought,
I but my dancing have brought,
Hurrah,hurrah, hurrah!

The gadfly ground the double-bass,
On fiddles scraped the crickets,
The chafers sang upon the grass,
And in the leafy thickets.
On branches swaying,
Singing and playing,
Hum we,
Drum we,
Swift as the scent of flowers
Pass we thro' shady bowers,
Over the plain spreading far and wide:
Short are our days, and how quickly they glide.

The gnat began the dance to guide.
His guide the bridegroom found her;
With him, in wedding wreath, the bride,
The dragonflies around her.
Where murmur ever
Waves resting never,
Skip we,
Slip we,
For thro' the moonlight pale,
High over hill and dale,
Fleetly and joyfully, lo! we ride:
Short are our days, and how quickly they glide.

Translation by John Troutbeck