Text: Robert Herrick 
Language: English 
Ensemble: SATB (div.) 
Accompaniment: A capella 
Duration: 5.0 minutes 
Page Count: 7 
Catalog Number: NWC-117

Available from J. W. Pepper.

Sample Score

An a cappella setting of the 17th century poem by Robert Herrick (1591-1674). The music vividly paints the text with interesting and unusual harmonic progressions, at times Poulenc-esque, with shifting diatonic harmonies and angular melodies for the sopranos, with a rising soaring soprano line at the final cadence. Always with a sense of clear voice leading, it is both challenging and rewarding to perform. Some occasional divisi throughout in all parts.

Charm me asleep, and melt me so 
With thy delicious numbers, 
That, being ravish'd, hence I go 
Away in easy slumbers. 
Ease my sick head, 
And make my bed, 
Thou power that canst sever 
From me this ill, 
And quickly still, 
Though thou not kill 
My fever. 

Thou sweetly canst convert the same 
From a consuming fire 
Into a gentle licking flame, 
And make it thus expire. 
Then make me weep 
My pains asleep; 
And give me such reposes 
That I, poor I, 
May think thereby 
I live and die 
'Mongst roses. 

Fall on me like the silent dew, 
Or like those maiden showers 
Which, by the peep of day, do strew 
A baptim o'er the flowers. 
Melt, melt my pains 
With thy soft strains; 
That, having ease me given, 
With full delight 
I leave this light, 
And take my flight 
For Heaven. 

Robert Herrick (1591-1674)