Saturday, April 9, 2011
Chanticleer sings Herbert Howells' "Here is the Little Door"
This is stunningly beautiful. Here is the text, which the great Herbert Howells put to SATB in 1918:
Here is the little door.
Lift up the latch; O lift!
We need not wander more,
but enter with our gift.
A gift of finest Gold,
Gold that was never bought nor sold;
Myrrh to be strewn about his bed;
Incense in clouds about his head;
all for the Child who stirs not in his sleep,
but Holy slumber holds with ass and sheep.
Bend low about his bed: for each he has a gift!
See how his eyes awake--lift up your hands! O lift!
For Gold he gives a keen-edged sword (defend with it thy little Lord)!
For incense, smoke of battle red.
Myrrh for the honoured happy dead.
Gifts for his children, terrible and sweet,
Touched by such tiny hands and oh! such tiny feet.
The text was composed by Frances Chesterton, wife of G.K. Chesterton.