Echo’s Lament

  • Duration: 4 minutes
  • Soloist(s): Soprano
  • Instrumentation: Piano
  • Published by: Hawes Music


The piano depicts the gentle flowing of the fountain which the poet, Ben Johnson (1572-1637) sees as a mirroring of grief and sorrow.  The solo soprano voice conveys the deeper nuances of the text with broken, ‘sighing’ phrases and, at points of climax, with more expansive sweeping statements.

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Echo’s Lament for Narcissus (from Cynthia’s Revels) 

Slow, slow, fresh fount, keep time with my salt tears;
Yet, slower yet; O faintly, gentle springs;
List to the heavy part the music bears;
Woe weeps out her division when she sings. Droop herbs and flowers;
Fall grief in showers,
Our beauties are not ours;
O, I could still,
Like melting snow upon some craggy hill, Drop, drop, drop, drop,
Since nature’s pride is now a withered daffodil.

Words: Ben Jonson (1572–1637)