Description and multimedia
‘Silent Noon’ is the second song in a series of six sonnets entitled ‘The House of Life’. Vaughan-Williams wrote the music to the sonnets written by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) around 1903.
This arrangement is transcribed as a cornet solo that works really well as a moment of reflection during a concert.
Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, –
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
‘Neath billowing [clouds]1 that scatter and amass.
All round our nest, far as the eye can pass,
Are golden kingcup fields with silver edge
Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn hedge.
‘Tis visible silence, still as the hour glass.
Deep in the sunsearched growths the dragon-fly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky: –
So this winged hour is dropt to us from above.
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companioned inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love.