O blessed retirement (John Wall Callcott)

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  • (Posted 2008-06-26)  CPDL #17350:        (Sibelius 5)
Editor: Jonathan Goodliffe (submitted 2008-06-26).   Score information: A4, 14 pages, 111 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: O Blessed retirement
Composer: John Wall Callcott

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: ATTBB
Genre: SecularGlee

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella (originally). Piano accompaniment added by William Horsley (1774-1858).

First published:
Description: A 5 part glee

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

From “The deserted village” by Sir Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774)

Lines 97 to 112

0 bless’d retirement, friend to life's decline,
Retreats from care, that never must be mine,
How bless’d is he who crowns, in shades like these,
A youth of labour with an age of ease;
Who quits a world where strong temptations try,
And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly!
For him no wretches, born to work and weep,
Explore the mine, or tempt the dangerous deep;
[No surly porter stands, in guilty state,
To spurn imploring famine from the gate;]
But on he moves to meet his latter end,
Angels around befriending virtue's friend;
Sinks to the grave with unperceived decay,
While resignation gently slopes the way;
And, all his prospects brightening to the last,
His heaven commences ere the world be past!

Note: words in square brackets omitted from Callcott’s setting