Grade 12, Essex High School
“This piece for four voices sets to music a passage from the play Cynthia’s Revels, written around the year 1600 by Ben Jonson. The passage shows Echo’s reaction Narcissus’s death from her point of view.
The piece uses chant influences and word painting as well as traditional harmony to illustrate the mournful words.
Here is the text of the poem:
Slow, slow, fresh fount, keep time with my salt tears;
Yet slower, yet, O faintly, gentle springs!
List to the heavy part the music bears,
Woe weeps out her division, when she sings.
Droop herbs and flowers;
Fall grief in showers;
Our beauties are not ours.
O, I could still,
Like melting snow upon some craggy hill,
Drop, drop, drop, drop,
Since nature’s pride is now a withered daffodil.”
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