On Another's Sorrow (Philip Le Bas)

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  • (Posted 2017-05-07)   CPDL #44420:  Network.png PDF, MP3, MXL, SIB and MIDI files available.
Editor: Philip Le Bas (submitted 2017-05-07).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 263 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Versions for SATB and SABar

General Information

Title: On Another's Sorrow
Composer: Philip Le Bas
Lyricist: William Blake

Version 1: Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Version 2: Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: SAB
Genre: SacredAnthem

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 2017

Description: A setting of William Blake's poem "On Another's Sorrow" from his "Songs of Innocence and of Experience" for SATB or SABar choir by Philip Le Bas

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow's share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?

Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird's grief and care,
Hear the woes that infants bear -

And not sit beside the nest,
Pouring pity on their breast,
And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?

He doth give His joy to all:
He becomes an infant small,
He becomes a man of woe,
He doth feel the sorrow too.

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not by:
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.

O He gives to us His joy,
That our grief He may destroy:
Till our grief is fled and gone
He doth sit by us and moan.

by William Blake (1757-1827)