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Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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'Delightfully sung by Bott and Cornwell to a joyful accompaniment' (Gramophone) 'Stylish interpretations … elegantly shaped wind playing by The Parley of Instruments … the disc provides valuable insight into early 18th c ...» More
Song: The Melancholy Nymph
'Twas when the seas were roaring
’Twas when the seas were roaring
With hollow blasts of wind,
A damsel lay deploring
All on a rock reclined.
Wide o’er the rolling billows
She cast a wistful look;
Her head was crowned with willows
That trembled o’er the brook.
Twelve months were gone and over,
And nine long tedious days.
Why did’st thou, vent’rous lover,
Why did’st thou trust the seas?
Cease, cease, thou cruel ocean
And let my lover rest;
Ah! what’s thy troubled motion
To that within my breast?
The merchant, robbed of pleasure,
Sees tempests in despair,
But what’s the loss of treasure
To losing of my dear?
Should you some coast be laid on
Where gold and diamonds grow,
You’d find a richer maiden
But none that loves you so.
How can they say that Nature
Has nothing made in vain?
Why then beneath the water
Should hideous rocks remain?
No eyes the rocks discover
That lurk beneath the deep,
To wreck the wand’ring lover
And leave the maid to weep.
All melancholy lying
Thus wailed she for her dear,
Repaid each blast with sighing,
Each billow with a tear,
When o’er the white wave stooping
His floating corpse she spied,
Then like a lily drooping
She bowed her head and died.
John Gay (1685-1732)
The Melancholy Nymph circulated as a popular song, but seems to have been written by Handel for a play by John Gay. It is one of the few works he wrote for the English theatre. Handel’s tune was used a few years later in The Beggars’ Opera (1728).