Thou to whose eyes I bend (William Jackson of Exeter)
- Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2022-04-01). Score information: A4, 6 pages, 442 kB Copyright: CC BY SA
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Title: Thou to whose eyes I bend
Composer: William Jackson of Exeter
Lyricist: Matthew Prior
Number of voices: 3vv Voicing: ATB
Genre: Secular, Glee
Instruments: Basso continuo
First published: 1762 Elegies Op. 3
Description: In his frontispiece, Jackson specified performance in the following terms: "I would just observe, that the following pieces will lose their effect, when the parts are doubled. The manner of performance that I would recommend, is by three voices singing moderately soft, and accompanied with any bass instrument that may have the effect of an accompaniment only; for nothing hurts a piece so much, as making a part principal, or even equal with others, when it was intended to be subservient. The equality of strength among the voices should also be observed; if one voice of the three be strong, and the others weak, it is necessary to soften it down, that the balance may not be destroyed; for it should always be remembered, that as no principal part was intended, there must be none produced".
Original text and translations
Thou to whose eyes I bend, at whose command
(Tho' low my voice, tho' artless be thy hand,)
I take the sprightly reed and sing or play,
Careless of all the censuring world may say.
O fairest of thy sex, be thou my muse,
Deign on my work thy influence to diffuse;
So shall my notes to future times proclaim
Unbounded love and everduring flame.