The Oxen
Stephen Barr

Composer Stephen Barr
Text Thomas Hardy
Voicing SATB, Clarinet/English hn.
Topic Christmas
Price $1.95 (U.S.)
Length 3' 05" Released 12/13
Catalog no. 405-266
Difficulty Mod. diff.

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Anthem text
Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
“Come; see the oxen kneel,

“In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.

--Thomas Hardy, 1915

review copy

Description Thomas Hardy’s Christmas poem is set by Stephen Barr in the manner of a traditional English pastoral carol with a rustic part for English horn or clarinet.



 

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