Sarah Ellena Hogrefe, mezzo-soprano, and John King Carter, pianist, perform Elgar’s Sea Pictures, Opus 37. Recorded live in concert in Jasper, Georgia on September 18, 2016, and performed again at Canterbury Court, Monday, November 7, 2016, at 7:30 pm.
Poem by the Hon. Roden Noel.
Sea-birds are asleep/The world forgets to weep/Sea murmurs her soft slumber-song/On the shadowy sand/Of this elfin land./”I, the Mother mild/Hush thee, O my child/Forget the voices w
ild!/Isles in elfin light/Dream, the rocks and caves/Lulled by whispering waves/Veil their marbles bright./Foam glimmers faintly white/Upon the shelly sand/Of this elfin land./Sea-sound, like violins/To slumber woos and wins/I murmur my soft slumber-song/Leave woes, and wails, and sins./Ocean’s shadowy might/Breathes goodnight/Goodnight!”
Poem by C. A. Elgar.
Closely let me hold thy hand/Storms are sweeping sea and land;/Love alone will stand.
Closely cling, for waves beat fast/Foam-flakes cloud the hurrying blast;/Love alone will last.
Kiss my lips, and softly say/”Joy, sea-swept, may fade today;/Love alone will stay.”
Sabbath Morning at Sea
From a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The ship went on with solemn face:/To meet the darkness on the deep,/The solemn ship went onward./I bowed down weary in the place;/For parting tears and present sleep had weighed my eyelids downward.
The new sight, the new wondrous sight!/The waters around me, turbulent,/The skies, impassive o’er me,/Calm in a moonless, sunless light,/As glorified by even the intent/Of holding the day glory!
Love me, sweet friends, this sabbath day/The sea sings round me while ye roll/Afar the hymn, unaltered,/And kneel, where once I knelt to pray,/And bless me deeper in your soul/Because your voice has faltered.
And though this sabbath comes to me without the stoled minister,/And chanting congregation,/God’s Spirit shall give comfort. He/Who brooded soft on waters drear,/Creator on creation.
He shall assist me to look higher,/Where keep the saints, with harp and song,/An endless sabbath morning,/And on that sea conmixed with fire,/Oft drop their eyelids raised too long/To the full Godhead’s burning.
Where Corals Lie
Poem by Richard Garnett
The deeps have music soft and low/When winds awake the airy spry,/It lures me, lures me on to go/And see the land where corals lie.
By mount and mead, by lawn and rill,/When night is deep, and moon is high,/That music seeks and finds me still,/And tells me where the corals lie.
Yes, press my eyelids close, ’tis well;/But far the rapid fancies fly/To rolling worlds of wave and shell/And all the lands where corals lie.
Thy lips are like a sunset glow,/Thy smile is like a morning sky,/Yet leave me, leave me, let me go/And see the land where corals lie.
From a poem by A. Lindsay Gordon
With short, sharp violent lights made vivid/To southward far as the sight can roam/Only the swirl of the surges livid/The seas that climb and the surfs that comb./Only the crag and the cliff to nor’ward/And the rocks receding, and reefs flung forward/Waifs wreck’d seaward and wasted shoreward,On shallows sheeted with flaming foam.
A grim, grey coast and a seaboard ghastly/And shores trod seldom by feet of men-/Where the batter’d hull and the broken mast lie/They have lain embedded these long years ten./Love! When we wandered here together/Hand in hand through the sparkling weather/From the heights and hollows of fern and heather/God surely loved us a little then.
The skies were fairer and shores were firmer-/The blue sea over the bright sand rolled;/Babble and prattle, and ripple and murmur/Sheen of silver and glamour of gold.
So, girt with tempest and winged with thunder/And clad with lightning and shod with sleet/And strong winds treading the swift waves under/The flying rollers with frothy feet./One gleam like a bloodshot sword-blade swims on/The sky line, staining the green gulf crimson/A death-stroke fiercely dealt by a dim sun/That strikes through his stormy winding sheet.
O, brave white horses! You gather and gallop/The storm sprite loosens the gusty reins;/Now the stoutest ship were the frailest shallop/In your hollow backs, on your high-arched manes./I would ride as never man has ridden/In your sleepy, swirling surges hidden;/To gulfs foreshadowed through strifes forbidden/Where no light wearies and no love wanes.