Gounod seems to have been very taken by the poetry of the American Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Following their legal tussle with the composer the publishers Novello allowed Gounod’s one such setting, Beware!
, a translation from the German, to go out of print; it re-surfaced as Prends garde!
in the third Choudens collection and has there remained. The miniature warning fanfares and the subtlety of the word-setting (which is more obvious in the original English than in Barbier’s translation) make a good case for the song’s rescue and repatriation.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1993