The Occasional Oratorio

 

   

Libretto

 
 

The Occasional Oratorio, HWV 67

Oratorio in tre parti

Musica di George Frideric Handel

Libretto di Newburgh Hamilton 

Prima esecuzione: Londra, Covent Garden, 14 Febbraio 1746

 

 


Testo del libretto:



PART THE FIRST



1. Overture

2. Arioso
Why do the gentiles tumult,
And the nations muse a vain thing,
The kings of the earth upstand with pow'r,
And princes in their congregations
Lay deep their plots throughout each land
Against the Lord and His Anointed?

3a. Chorus
Let us break off by strength of hand,
And cast from us, no more to wear
The twisted cord and iron band!
Him or his God we scorn to fear.

4. Air

Tenor
O Lord, how many are my foes,
How many that in arms against me rise!
O Lord, how many
That of my life distrustfully thus say:
"No Help for him in God there lies."

3b. Chorus (repeated)
Let us break off by strength of hand,
And cast from us, no more to wear
The twisted cord and iron band!
Him or his god we scorn to fear.

5. Air

Tenor
Jehovah, to my words give ear,
My meditations weigh!
The voice of my complaining hear,
To Thee alone, my God and King, I pray.

3c. Chorus (repeated)
Let us break off by strength of hand,
And cast from us, no more to wear
The twisted cord and iron band!
Him or his god we scorn to fear.

6. Recitative

Bass
The Highest, who in Heav'n doth dwell,
Shall laugh them to scorn.
The Lord shall speak to them in his wrath,
And in his fell and fierce ire trouble them:
"For I, saith He, have anointed Him my King,
(Though ye rebel) on Sion's holy hill."

7. Air

Soprano
Oh, who shall pour into my swollen eyes
A sea of tears, that never may be dry'd;
A brazen voice, that may with shrilling cries
Pierce the dull Heav'ns, and fill the air so wide;
An iron frame, that sighing may endure,
To wail the misery of the world impure?

8. Air

Soprano
Fly from the threat'ning vengeance, fly!
Ere 'tis too-late,
Avoid your fate,
The bolt once thrown, ye surely die.
Put not your trust
In the unjust,
Who lift their heads so high.
Fly from. . . da capo

9. Accompagnato

Bass
Humbl'd with fear, and awful reverence,
Before the footstool of his Majesty,
Throw thyself down with trembling innocence,
Nor dare to cast thy weak, thy dazzled eye
On the dread face of that great Deity,
For fear, lest if he chance to look at thee,
Thou turn to nought, and quite confounded be.

10. Air

Bass
His scepter is the rod of righteousness,
With which He bruiseth all His foes to dust,
And the great dragon strongly doth repress
Under the rigor of His judgment just.
His seat is truth, to which the faithful trust,
From whence proceed her beams so pure and bright
That all about Him sheddeth glorious light.
His scepter. . . da capo

11. Air

Soprano
Be wise at length, ye kings averse,
Be taught, ye judges of the earth,
With fear Jehovah serve.

12. Chorus
Be wise at length, ye kings averse,
Be taught, ye judges of the earth,
With fear Jehovah serve; or brought full low,
With iron scepter bruis'd, and then dispers'd,
Scatter'd like sheep, ye perish in your way.

13. Recitative

Tenor
Of many millions the populous rout,
I fear not, though incamping round about
They pitch their tents against me.
My God will rise, my help is in the Lord.

14. Air

Tenor
Jehovah is my shield, my glory,
Him through my story
Th'exalter of my head I count.
Aloud I cried,
He soon replied,
And heard me from his holy mount.
I lay and slept, and wak'd again,
The Lord himself did me sustain.
Jehovah is my shield. . . da capo

15. Recitative

Bass
Fools or madmen stand not within thy sight,
All workers of iniquity thou hat'st,
And them, unblest, thou wilt destroy;
The bloody and guileful man thou dost detest.

16. Solo (bass) & Chorus
God found them guilty, let them fall,
By their own counsels quell'd;
Push'd them in their rebellions all,
For against Him they had rebell'd.


PART THE SECOND



17. Air

Soprano
O liberty, thou choicest treasure,
Seat of virtue, source of pleasure!
Life without thee knows no blessing,
No endearment worth caressing.

18. Recitative

Soprano
Who trusts in God should ne'er despair.
The just are still the care of Heav'n.
Rejoice, my soul, Jehovah hears.

19. Air

Soprano
Prophetic visions strike my eye,
In vain our foes for help shall cry,
War shall cease, welcome peace,
And triumphs after victory.
The hostile band, by his right hand
Discomfited, forsakes the land.
Prophetic visions. . . da capo

20. Solo (alto) and Chorus
May God, from whom all mercies spring,
Bless the true church, and save the king!
With firm united hearts we all
Will conquer in his cause, or fall.

21. Recitative

Tenor
The Lord hath heard my pray'r,
Mine enemies shall all be blank, and dash'd
With much confusion.
Then, grown red with shame,
They shall return in haste the way they came,
And in a moment shall be quite abash'd.

22. Air

Tenor
Then will I Jehovah's praise
According to his justice raise,
And sing the name and Deity
Of Jehovah the most high.
Ever let my thanks endure,
Ever faithful, ever sure.

23. Chorus
All his mercies shall endure
Ever faithful, ever sure.

24. Air

Soprano
How great and many perils do enfold
The righteous man to make him daily fall,
Were not that heav'nly grace doth him uphold,
And steadfast truth acquit him out of all.

25. Duet

Soprano and alto
After long storms and tempests overblown
The sun at length his joyful face doth clear.
Thus after fortune's rage is shown,
A blissful hour at last is known,
Else would afflicted man despair.
After long storms. . . da capo

26. Air and Chorus

Bass
To God, our strength, sing loud and clear,
Sing loud to God our King!
To Jacob's God, that all may hear,
Loud acclamations ring!
Prepare the hymn, prepare the song,
The timbrel hither bring,
The cheerful psaltry bring along,
And harp with pleasant string.

Chorus
Prepare the hymn, prepare the song,
The timbrel hither bring,
The cheerful psaltry bring along,
And harp with pleasant string.

27. Air

Tenor
He has His mansion fix'd on high
Above the reach of mortal eye,
Who by His wisdom did create
The painted skies so full of state;
And did the solid earth ordain
To rise above the wat'ry plain,
Who, by his all-commanding might,
Did fill the new-made world with light,
Then cause the golden-tressed sun,
And the horn'd moon, their course to run.

28. Chorus
Hallelujah, your voices raise,
Jehovah, Lord of hosts, to praise.
Hallelujah.


PART THE THIRD


29. Symphony
30. Musette

31. Chorus
I will sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.

32. Air

Alto
Thou shalt bring them in,
and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance,
in the place, O lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in,
in the sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.

33. Chorus
Who is like unto Thee, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like Thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
He gave the Egyptians storms for rain.
He gave them hailstones for rain;
fire mingled with the hail ran along upon the ground.

34. Air

Soprano
When warlike ensigns wave on high,
And trumpets pierce the vaulted sky,
The frighted peasant sees his field
For corn and iron harvest yield.
No pasture now the plain affords,
And scythes are straighten'd into swords.
Be calm, and Heav'n will soon dispose
To future good our present woes.

35. Recitative

Tenor
The enemy said: I will pursue, I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them.
I will draw my sword: my hand shall destroy them.

36. Air

Tenor
The enemy said: I will pursue, I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them.
I will draw my sword: my hand shall destroy them.

37. Air

Bass
The sword that's drawn in virtue's cause
To guard our country and its laws;
Friend, parent, children dear,
To guide its edge we Heav'n invoke;
Rebellion falls beneath the stroke,
And joy succeeds the fear.
Millions unborn shall bless the hand
That gave deliv'rance to the land.

38. Chorus
Millions unborn shall bless the hand
That gave deliv'rance to the land.

39. Recitative

Soprano
When Israel, like the bounteous Nile,
For Egypt's lords, enrich'd the soil,
The tears our gushing eyes supplied
Increas'd the river's swelling tide.

40. Air

Soprano
When Israel, like the bounteous Nile,
For Egypt's lords, enrich'd the soil,
The tears our gushing eyes supplied
Increas'd the river's swelling tide.

41. Air

Tenor
Tyrants, whom no cov'nants bind,
Nor solemn oaths can awe,
Strove to enslave the freeborn mind,
Religion, libberty, and law.
Its own viceregent Heaven ordains
To free the world, and break the oppressor's chains.
Tyrants. . . da capo

42. Accompagnato

Soprano
May balmy peace, and wreath'd renown,
The virtuous hero ever crown;
May bliss eternal be his share,
Whose God and peole are his care.

43. Air

Soprano
May balmy peace, and wreath'd renown,
The virtuous hero ever crown;
May bliss eternal be his share,
Whose God and peole are his care.

44. Chorus
Blessed are all they that fear the Lord.
God save the King, long live the King,
May the King live for ever!
Amen. Halleluja.
 

FINE DELL'ORATORIO

 

 

decorative line

 

 

     

Libretto inviato da  Armando Casarini

 

www.haendel.it

 

Ultimo aggiornamento: 23-07-04