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Oh! Sweet and Fair!
Words by A.F.C.K.

Dedicated to The Hon. Mrs. Francis Byng.
Composed expressly for Madame Sainton Dolby.
Published by Boosey & Co., 1868.

Mrs. Francis Byng was the wife of the Hon. and Rev. Francis Byng, the Perpetual Curate of St. Peter's, Cranley Gardens where Sullivan was organist in 1868. Francis Byng later succeeded to the title Lord Stafford.

Charlotte Sainton Dolby was a contralto of whom Mendelssohn had had a high opinion.
Music cover

Karaoke File

Children Playing by the Sea
(Arthur Rackham)
Rackham - Children playing
Oh sweet and fair! Oh rich and rare!
That day so long ago.
The autumn sunshine everywhere,
The heather all aglow.
The ferns were clad in cloth of gold,
The waves sang on the shore;
Such suns will shine, such waves will sing,
For ever, evermore.

Oh fit and few! Oh tried and true!
The friends who met that day,
Each one the other's spirit knew;
And so in earnest play
The hours flew past, until at last,
The twilight kiss'd the shore;
We said, "Such suns will come again,
For ever, evermore."

One day again, no cloud of pain,
A shadow o'er us cast.
And yet we strove in vain, in vain,
To conjure up the past;
Like, but unlike, the sun that shone,
The waves that beat the shore,
The words we said, the songs we sung
Like, unlike, evermore.
For ghosts unseen crept in between,
And when our songs flow'd free,
Sang dischords in an undertone,
And marred the harmony.
"The past is ours, not yours," they said,
"The waves that beat the shore
Tho' like the same, are not the same.
Oh never, nevermore!"

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