This weekend is our final one before we take a break for summer. At evensong, we’re singing… actually first, let’s start with a poem…
At a Solemn Musick by John Milton
Blest pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven’s joy,
Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse,
Wed your divine sounds, and mixed pow’r employ,
Dead things with inbreathed sense able to pierce;
And to our high-raised phantasy present
That undisturbed song of pure concent,
Aye sung before the sapphire-coloured throne
To Him that sits thereon,
With saintly shout, and solemn jubilee,
Where the bright Seraphim in burning row
Their loud uplifted angel-trumpets blow,
And the Cherubic host in thousand choirs
Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,
With those just Spirits that wear victorious palms,
Hymns devout and holy psalms
Thus we on earth with undiscording voice
May rightly answer that melodious noise;
As once we did, till disproportioned sin
Jarred against nature’s chime, and with harsh din
Broke the fair music that all creatures made
To their great Lord, whose love their motion swayed
In perfect diapason, whilst they stood
In first obedience, and their state of good.
O may we soon again renew that song,
And keep in tune with Heaven, till God ere long
To His celestial concert us unite,
To live with Him, and sing in endless morn of light.
This amazing poem was set to music and called Blest Pair of Sirens by the English composer Hubert Parry for a concert for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 to celebrate her 50th year on the throne.
Obviously, there has been a lot of attention on Parry this year as not just Blest Pair of Sirens but Jerusalem and I was Glad were sung by the choirs of Westminster Abbey and the Chapel Royal at the Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Admittedly, we won’t have so many when we sing this piece at All Saints Fulham!