Let the night perish, Z 191 (Henry Purcell)
- (Posted 2019-05-18) CPDL #54264:
- Editor: Raymond Nagem (submitted 2019-05-18). Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 94 kB Copyright: Personal
- Edition notes: Original key, with original basso continuo part only (no editorial realization).
- (Posted 2019-05-18) CPDL #54263:
- Editor: Raymond Nagem (submitted 2019-05-18). Score information: Letter, 5 pages, 110 kB Copyright: Personal
- Edition notes: Original key. Contains an editorial realization of the continuo part.
First published: 1688
Description: Titled "Job's Curse." Although Purcell adds a bass voice in the chorus, this song can also be performed with solo voice and continuo only.
Original text and translations
Let the Night perish; cursed be the Morn,
Wherein 'twas said, "There is a Man-child born!"
Let not the Lord regard that day, but shroud
Its fatal Glory in some sullen Cloud:
May the dark Shades of an Eternal Night
Exclude the least kind Beam of dawning Light;
Let unborn Babes, as in the Womb they lie,
If it be mention'd, give a Groan and die:
No sounds of Joy therein shall charm the Ear;
No sun, no Moon, no twilight Stars appear;
But a thick Veil of gloomy Darkness wear.
Why did I not, when first my Mother's Womb
Discharg'd me thence, drop down into my Tomb?
Then had I been at quiet, and mine Eyes
Had slept, and seen no Sorrow; there the Wise
And Subtle Counsellor, the Potentate,
Who for themselves built Palaces of State,
Lie hush'd in Silence; there's no Midnight cry,
Caus'd by Oppression, and the Tyranny
Of wicked Rulers. Here the Weary cease
From Labour, here the Prisoner sleeps in Peace;
The Rich, the Poor, the Monarch, and the Slave,
Rest undisturb'd, and no distinction have,
Within the silent Chambers of the Grave.