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“The Salutation” for chamber choir, accordion, tuba and harp (2003)

In Program Notes on February 13, 2010 at 3:00 pm


“The Salutation” is a poem written by Thomas Traherne (1637 or 1639-1674), an English poet and ecclesiastic.
The harp, tuba, and accordion are symbols of Heaven, Earth, and Man. The choir is divided into twelve voices at a maximum.

Salutation PC. playback [15:32] mp3 Just a moment

The Salutation

In Text on February 1, 2010 at 8:20 am

These little Limbs,
  These Eys and Hands which here I find,
This panting Heart wherwith my Life begins;
    Where have ye been?  Behind
What Curtain were ye from me hid so long!
Where was, in what Abyss, my new-made Tongue?

    When silent I
  So many thousand thousand Years
Beneath the Dust did in a Chaos ly,
    How could I Smiles, or Tears,
Or Lips, or Hands, or Eys, or Ears perceiv?
Welcom ye Treasures which I now receive.

    I that so long
  Was Nothing from Eternity,
Did little think such Joys as Ear and Tongue
    To celebrat or see:
Such Sounds to hear, such Hands to feel, such Feet,
Beneath the Skies, on such a Ground to meet.

    New burnisht Joys!
  Which finest Gold and Pearl excell!
Such sacred Treasures are the Limbs of Boys
    In which a Soul doth dwell:
Their organized Joints and azure Veins
More Wealth include than all the World contains.

    From Dust I rise
  And out of Nothing now awake;
These brighter Regions which salute mine Eyes
    A Gift from God I take:
The Earth, the Seas, the Light, the lofty Skies,
The Sun and Stars are mine; if these I prize.

    A Stranger here,
  Strange things doth meet, strange Glory see,
Strange Treasures lodg’d in this fair World appear,
    Strange all and New to me:
But that they mine should be who Nothing was,
That Strangest is of all; yet brought to pass.

  Thomas Traherne (1637 or 1639-1674)