Vernal Day (Oliver Holden)

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  • (Posted 2015-08-28)   CPDL #36647:       
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2015-08-28).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 50 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Oval note edition, as written in 1803. Two more pairs of stanzas from Steele's poem added below. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
  • (Posted 2015-08-28)   CPDL #36646:   
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2015-08-28).   Score information: 7 x 10 in (landscape), 1 page, 53 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Note shapes added (4-shape). Two more pairs of stanzas from Steele's poem added below.

General Information

Title: Vernal Day
First Line: When verdure clothes the fertile vale
Composer: Oliver Holden
Lyricist: Anne Steele

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: Sacred   Meter: 86. 86 (C.M.)

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1803 in The Charlestown Collection, 1803, p. 50

Description: Words by Anne Steele, published 1780, entitled Written in May, in nine stanzas. Holden used stanzas two and three of Steele's poem in his composition.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

How changed the face of nature shows,
How gay the rural scene!
A fairer bloom the flowers disclose,
The meads a livelier green.

While beauty clothes the fertile vale,
And blossoms on the spray,
And fragrance breathes in every gale,
How sweet the vernal day!

And hark! the feathered warblers sing!
Tis nature's cheerful voice;
Soft music hails the lovely spring,
And woods and fields rejoice.


How kind the influence of the skies!
These showers, with blessings fraught,
Bid verdure, beauty, fragrance rise,
And fix the roving thought.

O let my wondering heart confess,
With gratitude and love,
The bounteous hand that deigns to bless
The garden, field, and grove.

That bounteous hand my thoughts adore,
Beyond expression kind,
Hath sweeter, nobler gifts in store,
To bless the craving mind.


That hand, in this hard heart of mine
Can make each virtue live,
And kindly showers of grace divine
Life, beauty, fragrance give.

O God of nature, God of grace,
Thy heavenly gifts impart!
And bid sweet meditation trace
Spring blooming in my heart!

Inspired to praise I then shall join
Glad nature's cheerful song :
And love and gratitude divine
Attune my joyful tongue.