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Old Love Letters
Words by Samuel K. Cowan.

Dedicated to Mrs. Frances Ronalds.
Published by Boosey & Co., 1879.


The manuscript of Old Love Letters is dated by Sullivan both on its title page and at its close on the fifth page of music "January 1879". There is no mention of a dedication in the manuscript. However, copies of the "New and Revised Edition" bear the dedication to Mrs. Ronalds. In an undated letter, Sullivan wrote to his mother:

I am having my tea & re-writing Old Love Letters...& have had Lloyd here today to go through it & he likes it immensely. I am copying it & sending it to Boosey."
Edward Lloyd (1845-1927) was described by Grove as "the most famous tenor of his generation" and sang the part of Olybius in the first performance of Sullivan's The Martyr of Antioch in Leeds in October 1880.




The Love Letter
(August Toulmouche)
Toulmouche - Love Letter
A day, a week, a month are past,
Another year is by;
Beside her on the open'd desk,
His old love letters lie.
She reads them till the day-light fades,
And 'neath the moon-lit sky,
She sleeps at rest, for on her breast
Those old love letters lie.

Ah me!
Ah me!
Ah me! that those who meet in smiles,
So soon in tears should part.
Ah me! that those who meet in smiles,
So soon in tears should part.

He lov'd her well;
A warrior brave
He sought the deadly fray
But ere her first love letter came,
His soul had passed away!
A flow'r she gave, a pictur'd face,
A tress of golden hair;
And death that chill'd his warm heart,
Found those old love letters there!

Original ending:
Ah me!
Ah me!
Ah me! that those who meet in smiles,
So soon in tears should part.
Ah me! that those who meet in smiles,
So soon in tears should part.
Part in tears!
Ah me! that those who meet in smiles
Should part in tears,
In tears should part!
Revised ending:
Ah me!
Ah me!
Ah me! that those who meet in smiles,
So soon in tears should part.
Ah me! that those who meet in smiles,
Should part should part in tears!
So soon in tears should part.


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Page modified 3 June 2014