07 September 2007


Underneath his 19th century gruff avuncularism, W.S. Gilbert understood the hearts of young women better than you'd think. I remember the first time I heard these words* and thought, "yes, that's it, exactly."

When he is here, I sigh with pleasure
When he is gone, I sigh with grief.
My hopeless fear no soul can measure
His love alone can give my aching heart relief!
When he is cold, I weep for sorrow
When he is kind, I weep for joy.
My grief untold knows no tomorrow
My woe can find no hope, no solace, no alloy!

When I rejoice, he shows no pleasure.
When I am sad, it grieves him not.
His solemn voice has tones I treasure
My heart they glad, they solace my unhappy lot!
When I despond, my woe they chasten
When I take heart, my hope they cheer;
With folly fond to him I hasten
From him apart, my life is very sad and drear!

*Constance's Act I aria from The Sorcerer which I've sung now and again in our "living room" G&S get-togethers.

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