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St. Agnes' Eve
Words by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
Dedicated to Mrs. Frances Ronalds.
Published by Boosey & Co., 1979.


Music cover
This song was written for Fanny Ronalds, Sullivan's lifelong companion. The overall plan of the piece, from the repeated notes of the melody in the opening phrase to the fortissimo conclusion, is reminiscent of The Lost Chord, which was already, two years after publication, Sullivan's most successful song, and one which Mrs. Ronalds had sung with signal success. This song gave her an opportunity to try and repeat that success.

Karaoke File


Deep on the convent roof
The snows are sparkling in the moon:
My breath to heav'n like vapour goes:
May my soul follow soon!
The shadows of the convent tow'rs
Slant down the snowy sward,
Still creeping with the creeping hours
That lead me to my Lord:

Make thou my spirit pure and clear
As are the frosty skies,
Or this first snowdrop of the year,
That in my bosom lies.
As these white robes are soil'd and dark,
To yonder shining ground;
As this pale taper's earthly spark,
To yonder argent round;
So shows my soul before the Lamb,
My spirit before Thee;
So in mine earthly house I am,
To that I hope to be.

Millais' illustration of Tennyson's poem.


Illustration by C. Stanfield, R.A.
Break up the heav'ns, O Lord! and far,
Thro' all yon starlight keen,
Draw me, thy bride, a glitt'ring star,
In raiment white and clean.

He lifts me to the golden doors;
The flashes come and go;
All heav'n bursts her starry floors,
And strows her lights below,
And deepens on and up! the gates
Roll back, and far within
For me the Heav'nly Bridegroom waits,
To make me pure of sin.

The sabbaths of Eternity,
One sabbath deep and wide,
A light upon the shining sea,
The Bridegroom with his bride!
The sabbaths of Eternity,
One sabbath deep and wide,
A light on the shining sea,
The Bridegroom with his bride!

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