A Child Asleep
"A Child Asleep" is a song, with lyrics from a poem written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It was set to music by the English composer Edward Elgar in December 1909 and published in 1910 by Novello. It was first published by Browning in 1840.
It is dedicated to Anthony Goetz, the son of Ludovic Goetz and Muriel Foster, a favourite singer and personal friend of Elgar.
How he sleepeth!
Vision unto vision calleth,
While the young child dreameth on.
Fair, O dreamer, thee befalleth
With the glory thou hast won!
Darker wert thou in the garden, yestermorn, by summer sun.
We should see the spirits ringing
Round thee, - were the clouds away.
'Tis the child-heart draws them, singing
In the silent-seeming clay -
Singing! - Stars that seem the mutest, go in music, music all the day.
Softly! softly, make no noises!
Now he lieth still and dumb -
Now he hears the angels' voices
Folding silence in the room -
Now he muses deep the meaning of the Heaven-words as they come.
Floweth outward with increase -
Dare not bless him! but be blessèd by his peace - and go in peace.
- The Unknown Elgar includes "A Child Asleep" performed by Teresa Cahill (soprano), with Barry Collett (piano).
- The Songs of Edward Elgar SOMM CD 220 Catherine Wyn-Rogers (soprano) with Malcolm Martineau (piano), at Southlands College, London, April 1999
- Percy Young, Elgar O.M.
- Michael Kennedy, Portrait of Elgar (Oxford University Press, 1968) ISBN 0-19-315414-5