O wild west wind, Op. 53, No. 3 (Edward Elgar)

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  • (Posted 2023-10-12)  CPDL #76272:     
Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-10-12).   Score information: Letter, 12 pages, 873 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2008-01-24)  CPDL #15834:   
Editor: Robin Doveton (submitted 2008-01-24).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 191 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Revised Sept. 2020.

General Information

Title: O wild west wind, Op. 53, No. 3
Composer: Edward Elgar
Lyricist: Percy Bysshe Shelley, from Ode to the West Wind

Number of voices: 8vv   Voicing: SSAATTBB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1908 Novello and Co.
Description: Completed Rome, December, 1907

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

O wild West Wind, make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,

Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawakened earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! O, Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?