The Night of Pain, The Night of Sorrow, this ae Nighte

The dirge which Benjamin Britten set to music for the voice of Peter Pears haunts me whenever I watch and hear what is happening in Syria.  The death of so many people fleeing fire, bombardment and the machines of death wrenches my soul and I seek refuge in music and poetry. There is something so mystifying in the words of this dirge  because I cannot understand some of them, but what I do understand is so overwhelming in its profundity and enduring message. I hear that we are one, that we are all involved in each other, that we must not forsake those who are in pain.

This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
Every nighte and alle,
Fire and fleete and clandle-lighte,
And Christe receive thy saule.

When thou from hence away art past,
Every nighte and allef
To Whinnymuir though com’st last.
And Christe receive thy saule.

If ever thou gav’st hos’n and shoon,
Every night and alle,
Sit thee down and put them on;
And Christe receive thy saule.

If hos’n and shoon
thou ne’er gav’st nane,
Every nighte and alle,
The whinnies shall prick thee
to the bare bane;
And Christe receive thy saule.

From Whinnymuir when thou may’st pass,
Every nighte and alle,
To Brig o’Dread thou com’st at last;
And Christe recieve thy saule.

From Brig o’Dread when thou may’st pass,
Every nighte and alle,
To Purgatory fire thou com’st at last;
And Christe receive thy Saule.

If ever though gav’st meat or drink,
Every nighte and alle,
The fire shall never make thee shrink;
And Christe receive thy saule.

If meat or drink thou ne’er gav’st nane,
Every nighte and alle,
The fire will burn thee to the bare bane,
And Christe receive they saule,

This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
every nighte and alle,
Fire and fleet and candle-lighte,
And Christe receive thy saule.

The dirge above is archaic and of Scottish origin.  Like the best of folk poems, it is atmospheric, dark and evocative.

About alisariram

I am an artist, a writer and a researcher. I know Arabic and English . I am interested in music and art of every description. I like to describe myself as the embodiment of a harmonious marriage between two cultures which I value and treasure.
This entry was posted in Death, Music, suffering, Syria, Syrian people, Video and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s