Thomas Hardy

(2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928 / Dorchester / England)

Barthelemon At Vauxhall - Poem by Thomas Hardy

Francois Hippolite Barthelemon, first-fiddler at Vauxhall Gardens,
composed what was probably the most popular morning hymn-tune ever
written. It was formerly sung, full-voiced, every Sunday in most
churches, to Bishop Ken's words, but is now seldom heard.


He said: 'Awake my soul, and with the sun,' . . .
And paused upon the bridge, his eyes due east,
Where was emerging like a full-robed priest
The irradiate globe that vouched the dark as done.

It lit his face-the weary face of one
Who in the adjacent gardens charged his string,
Nightly, with many a tuneful tender thing,
Till stars were weak, and dancing hours outrun.

And then were threads of matin music spun
In trial tones as he pursued his way:
'This is a morn,' he murmured, 'well begun:
This strain to Ken will count when I am clay!'

And count it did; till, caught by echoing lyres,
It spread to galleried naves and mighty quires.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 10, 2010



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