A Wreath (1985)
Medium voice, organ or piano
Text: George Herbert
Premiere—1985, by Kurt R. Hansen and Grigg Fountain, Evanston, IL.
Published by Classical Vocal Reprints, in American Art Song for the Sacred Service.
A wedding present for Christopher and Valerie Lorimer, Herbert’s tender offering of simple praise for grace, understanding and forgiveness seems to read equally well addressed friend to friend, husband to wife, finite being to creator.
A wreathed Garland of deserved praise,
Of praise deserved unto thee I give,
I give to thee, who knowest all my waies,
My crooked winding waies, wherein I live,
Wherein I dy, not live: for life is strait,
Straight as a line, and ever tends to thee,
To thee, who art more farre above deceit,
Then deceit seemes above simplicitie.
Give mee simplicitie, that I may live,
So live and like, that I may know thy waies,
And practice them then shall I give
For this poore wreath, give thee a crowne of praise.