Strew no more red roses
was Bridge’s last setting of Arnold’s verse, the words taken from a long philosophical poem written when the poet was in his early twenties. The poem was finally republished in 1876, at the specific request of Swinburne who admired it. The ‘her’ of line five is not a person but an artistic ideal. The music is considered by some writers to mark a new development in Bridge’s song writing, with wider vocal leaps and a more chromatic piano part; this is in some degree correct, though the octave leap had appeared as early as the composer’s third song, and his first is by no means lacking in chromatic modulation. However, both these fingerprints are now under much greater control.
from notes by Michael Pilkington © 1997