O vainly wise (John Wall Callcott)

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Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2023-09-12).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 167 kB   Copyright: CC BY SA
Edition notes: Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download.

General Information

Title: O vainly wise
Composer: John Wall Callcott
Lyricist: Thomas Campbell
Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: TTB
Genre: SecularGlee

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1809
Description: A piece written for the members of the Concentores (glee club).

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Oh vainly wise the moral muse hath sung
That suasive hope hath but a siren tongue.
True, she may sport with life's untutor'd day,
Nor heed the solace of its last decay.
But yet methinks, when wisdom shall assuage
That grief and passion of our greener age,
Though dull the close of life, and far away
Each flower that hail'd the dawning of the day.
Yet o'er her lovely hopes that once were dear:
The time-taught spirit, pensive not severe,
With milder grief her aged eyes shall fill,
And weep their falsehood, though she love them still.