Music by Richard Rodney Bennett
“Birds’ lament”, from Madrigals and Chronicles, published 1924
Lyrics by John Clare (1793-1864)
Oh, says the linnet, if I sing,
My love forsook me in the spring
and nevermore will I be seen
without my satin gown of green.
Oh, says the pretty feathered jay,
Now my love is gone away
And for the memory of my dear
A feather of each sort I’ll wear.
Oh, says the rook and eke the crow,
The reason why in black we go
Because our love has us forsook,
So pity us poor crow and rook!
Oh, says the pretty speckled thrush
That changes its note from bush to bush,
My love has left me here alone,
I fear she never will return.