The Lowest Trees

When I am writing I often listen to music, particularly that of the period I am writing about. I believe the need for music is innate in humans. Up until the present time ordinary people have constantly created music whether it a mother singing a lullaby to a child, a family singing around the piano, folk songs sung to the accompaniment of a tin whistle or the exuberant team song bellowed by a football crowd.

I will try to post a piece of music each week that has some connection to my writing or that I have enjoyed listening to. This week I am posting John Dowland’s setting of the poem The Lowest Trees by Sir Edward Dyer(1543-1607), sung here by soprano Jeni Melia.

The lowest trees have tops, the ant her gall,
The fly her spleen, the little spark his heat,
And slender hairs cast shadows though but small,
And bees have stings although they be not great.
Seas have their source, and so have shallow springs,
And love is love in beggars and in kings.

Where waters smoothest run, deep are the fords,
The dial stirs, yet none perceives it move:
The firmest faith is in the fewest words,
The turtles cannot sing, and yet they love,
True hearts have eyes and ears no tongues to speak:
They hear, and see, and sigh, and then they break.


2 thoughts on “The Lowest Trees

    • There is a lot of early music out there, both attempts to reproduce what we think must have been the sound at the time and reinterpretations with a more modern flavour. I also particularly like folk rock, especially Steeleye Span. I wasn’t aware of Kemper Crabb – the music is beautiful, an almost a Celtic sound too. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

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