Queen Mary's Song

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”Queen Mary's Song” is a song written by the English composer Edward Elgar in 1889. The words are from Lute Song by Tennyson.

It was composed between 14 June and 1 July 1889, and dedicated to 'J. H. Meredith'.[1]

The song was first published by Orsborn & Tuckwood in 1889, then by Ascherberg in 1892. It was re-published in 1907 as one of the Seven Lieder of Edward Elgar, with English and German words.


German words by Ed. Sachs


Queen Mary's Song

Hapless doom of woman happy in betrothing,
Beauty passes like a breath and love is lost in loathing:
Low! my lute:
Speak low, speak low, my lute, but say the world is nothing.
Low! lute, low !
Love will hover round the flowers when they first awaken;
Love will fly the fallen leaf, and not be overtaken;
Low, my lute !
O low, O low, my lute! we fade and are forsaken.
Low, dear lute, low !


Maria Stuart's Lied zur Laute

Glücklos Schicksal des Weibes, Glücklich nur im Wähnen,
Schönheit schwindet wie ein Hauch, Und Lieb' vergeht in Tränen:
Leis', mein Spiel !
Tön' leis, o leis, mein Spiel, doch sag der Welt mein Sehnen.
Sanft! Laute, sanft !
Liebe schützt die zarten Keime, Wenn sie Wurzel fassen;
Liebe flieht die welken Blüten, Wenn Farb' und Leben blassen;
Leis', mein Spiel !
Tön' leis, o leis, mein Spiel! Verwelkt sind wir verlassen.
Sanft, o Laute, sanft !



  • Banfield, Stephen, Sensibility and English Song: Critical studies of the early 20th century (Cambridge University Press, 1985) ISBN 0-521-37944-X
  • Kennedy, Michael, Portrait of Elgar (Oxford University Press, 1968) ISBN 0-19-315414-5
  • Moore, Jerrold N. “Edward Elgar: a creative life” (Oxford University Press, 1984) ISBN 0-19-315447-1
  • Young, Percy M. (1973). Elgar O.M.: a study of a musician. London: Collins. OCLC 869820. 


  1. ^ According to Percy Young (in Elgar O. M.) Elgar pencilled in a note on the MS that J. H. Meredith was an honorary member of the Worcester Amateur Instrumental Society