The beauty of Israel is slain (Robert Barber)

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Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2007-10-17).   Score information: A4, 13 pages   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score. Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download.

General Information

Title: The beauty of Israel is slain
Composer: Robert Barber
Source of text: 2 Samuel 1:19-21, 23-27

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredAnthem

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

Published: 1753 in David's Harp Well Tuned.

Description: This is an example of Barber's more ambitious (unaccompanied) anthem style. 2 Samuel, Ch. 1 was specified in the Book of Common Prayer as a proper lesson at morning prayer for 30th January, the anniversary of the execution (1649) of Charles, King and Martyr.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

The beauty of Israel is slain upon the high places;
how are the mighty fall’n in the midst of the battle!
Tell it not in Gath, nor in the streets of Askelon;
lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
lest the daughters of the uncircumcised should triumph.
Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew,
neither rain upon you.
For there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away.
Saul and Jonathan was lovely and pleasant in their lives;
and in their death they were not divided:
they were swifter than eagles,
they were stronger than lions.
Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet and other delights.
How are the mighty fall’n in the midst of the battle!
O Jonathan! thou wast slain in thine high places.
I am distressed for thee,
O, my brother Jonathan;
very pleasant hast thou been unto me;
thy love to me was wonderful,
passing the love of woman.
How are the mighty fall’n and the weapons of war vanquished!
How are the mighty fall’n!