Beware of the Soldier
(Libretto)

Elegy Prelude (Soprano and String Quartet)
  The souls of the slain, a dim discerned train of sprites without mold; frameless souls none might touch or might hold. I knew them for the souls of the felled, on earth's netherbord, under Capricorn, whither they'd warred, And I heard in my awe and gave heedfulness with breathings inheld. Then it seemed there appeared from the northward a senior soul flame of the like filmy hue. And he met them and spake: "Is it you, 0 my men?"
  Said they, "Ayel We bear homeward and hearthward to feast on our fame."
"I've flown there before you" he said. "Your households are well, but your kin linger less on your glory and war-mightiness than on dearer things."
  "Dearer!" cried they then - "Of what do they tell?"
 
Prologue (Men and Boys)
  Men: L'homme arms dolt on douter Boys: Quis fuit horrendos primus
    (Beware of the Soldier)   (Who was he who first discovered)
    On a fait partout crier   Qui protulit enses, (the horrid sword)
    (he brings evil to all)   quam ferus et vere fereus ille fuit
    Que chacun se viengu' armer   (How savage and truly made of iron he was.)
    (You should arm yourself)   Tum caedes hominum generi turn proelie nata.
    D'un haubregon de fer.   (Then bloodshed and battles were born into the human race.)
    (with irons against him)   Turn brevior dirge mortis aperta via est.
        (Then a shorter way was opened for fearful death.)
 
Elegy Interlude (Soprano and String Quartet)
  "Of what do they tell?"
  "Some mothers muse sadly, and murmur your doings as boys; recall the quaint ways of your babyhood's innocent joys."
 
Songs of Innocence - "Infant Joy" (Boys Choir)
  I have no name. I am but two days old.
  What shall I call thee?
  I happy am, joy is my name.
  Sweet joy befall thee, pretty boy,
  Sweet joy but two days old.
  Sweet joy I call thee. Thou dost smile.
  I sing the while, sweet joy befall thee.
 
Songs of War - "War is Sacred" (Bass Solo and Men's Choir)
  War is sacred a divine institution.
  It fosters every lofty and noble sentiment in the human heart.
  Solo: A soldier is Christ's warrior and as such he should regard himself, and so he should behave.
  War is sacred. . . . . . .
  Solo: Always attack, never defend; only when he is beaten who is afraid. If your bayonet breaks, strike with the stock; if the stock breaks, hit with your fists; if your fists are hurt,bite with your teeth. Only he wins who fights desperately to the death.
  War is sacred. . . . . . .
  Solo: Remember, God defends the brave. Where the bold one will get through, God will trip up the timid one. For the good soldier there are no flanks, nor rear, but all is front where the foe is.
  War is sacred. . . . . . .
  Solo: Pray to God. From him is the victory. God leads you. He's your general. Obedience! Discipline! Cleanliness! Health! Glory! Glory! Glory!
 
Elegy Interlude (Soprano and String Quartet)
  "Now tell us - how hold out our sweethearts, sworn loyal as doves?"
  "Many mourn. Many think it is not unattractive to prink them in sables for heroes. Some fickle and fleet hearts have found them new loves."
 
Songs of Innocence - "The Grasshopper and Cricket" (Boys Choir)
  When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, On a lone winter evening, when the frost
  and hide in the cooling trees,     has wrought
  A voice will run from hedge to hedge, about the A silence from the stove, there shrills the
      new-mown mead.     cricket's song.
  That is the grasshopper, hopper, hopper . . . . . In warmth increasing ever, and seems to one,
  He takes the lead in summer luxuries;     in drowsiness half lost.
  He has never done with his delights, The grasshopper, hopper . . . . . . . among some
  for when tired out with sun he rests at ease     grassy hills.
  beneath some pleasant weed.  
 
Songs of War - "War is Kind" (Tenor Solo and Men's Choir)
  Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment,
  Little souls who thirst for fight,
  There men were born to drill and die.
  The unexplained glory flies above them,
  Great is the battle god. Great!
  And his kingdom, a field where a thousand corpses lie.
  Solo: Do not weep babe, for war is kind.
    Because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches,
    Raged at his breast, gulped and died.
    Do not weep -- war is kind.
 
Elegy Interlude (Soprano and String Quartet)
  "And our wives?" quoth another resignedly; "Dwell they on our deeds?"
  "Deeds of home that live yet, fresh as new. Deeds of fondness or fret; ancient words, kindly expressed or unkindly. These, these have their deeds."
  (War is Kind)
  Swift, blazing flag of the regiment!
  Eagle with crest of red and gold.
  These men were born to drill and die.
  Point for them the virtue of slaughter,
  Make plain for them the excellence of killing,
  And a field where a thousand corpses lie.
  Solo: Do not weep dear - for war is kind.
    Your mother whose heart hung humble as a button on the bright, splendid shroud of your son,
  Do not weep - war is kind.
 
Songs of Innocence - "Blossom" (Boys Choir)
 
Songs of War - "A War Prayer" (Men's Choir)
  Merry, merry sparrow under leaves so green,
  A happy blossom sees you, swift as an arrow,
  Seek your cradle narrow near my bosom.
  (Men: O Lord, our God.)
  Pretty, pretty robin, under leaves so green,
  (O Lord, our God)
  A happy blossom hears you sobbing
  (O Lord, our God)
  Pretty, pretty robin, near my bosom.
  Men: Help us to tear their soldiers to shreds with our shells.
    Help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire.
    Help us to turn their widows out roofless with their little children.
    For our sakes who adore thee Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, make heavy their steps.
    We ask it in the spirit of love of him who is the source of love. Amen.
 
Elegy Interlude (Soprano and String Quartet)
  A father broods: "Would I had set him to some humble trade,
    And so slacked his high fire and his passionate martial desire;
    And told him no stories, to woo him and whet him,
    To this dire crusade."
 
Songs of Innocence - "Maying" (Boys Choir)
  Now is the month of maying when merry lads are playing,
  Each with his bonny lass, upon the greeny grass,
  Fa, la, la, la. . . . . . . .
  The spring clad all in gladness doth laugh at winter's sadness,
  And to the bagpipes sound the nymphs tread out their ground,
  Fa, la, la, la. . . . . . . .
  Fie, Then why sit we, sit we musing, while youth's delight refusing,
  Say dainty nymphs and speak, shall we now play barley break?
  The spring clad all in. . . . . . . .
 
Elegy Interlude (Soprano and String Quartet)
  Alas! Then it seems that our glory weighs less in their thought
  Than our old homely acts and the long ago common place facts of our lives,
  Held by us as scarce part of our story, and rated as nought.
 
Songs of War - "The Man and the Angel" (Men's Choir)
  "It was wrong to do this" said the angel, "You should live like a flower.
  Holding malice like the puppies, waging war like the Iambkins."
  "Not so" quoth the man, who had no fear of spirits.
  "It is only wrong for angels, who can live like the flowers,
  Holding malice like the puppies, waging war like the lambkins."
 
Songs of Innocence - "Little Lamb" (Boys Choir)
  Little lamb, who made thee, dost thou know who made thee,
  Gave thee life and bid thee feed by the streams o'er the mead,
  Gave thee clothing of delight, softest clothing wooly bright,
  Gave thee such a tender voice, you made the vales rejoice, all rejoice
  Little lamb, who made thee, doest thou know who made thee?
   
  Little lamb, I'll tell thee. He is called by thy name,
  For he calls himself a lamb, he is meek and mild, he became a child.
  I a child and thou a lamb. We are called by his name.
  Little lamb, God bless thee.
 
Songs of War - "Here, where a thousand captains" (Men's Choir)
  Here, where a thousand captains
  Swore grand conquest,
  Tall grass now is their monument.
 
Epilogue (Men and Boys)
  Men: L'homme arms doit on douter Boys: Interea pax arva colat.
    (Beware of the soldier)   (Let peace meanwhile cultivate our fields)
    On a fait partout crier   Pax candida primum
    (he brings evil to all)   (Fair peace first)
    Clue chacun se viengu' armer   Duxit araturos sub jugs curve boves
    (You should arm yourself)   (led the oxen to plough the fields under the curved yoke)
    D'un haubregon de fer.   Pax aluit vites et sucos condidit uvae,
    (with irons against him.)   (Peace nourished the vines and stored the grape-juice)
        Funderet ut nato testa paterna m e r u m;
        (So that wine might pour from the father's pitcher into the son's)
        Pace bidens vomerque nitent,
        (In time of peace the hoe and the ploughshare are resplendent,)
        at tristia duri (but rust lays hold of)
        militia in tenebris occupat arms titus.
        (the grim weapons of the rough soldier in the dark.)
 
Prayer (Soprano and String Quartet)
  Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
  Where there is injury, let me sow pardon,
  Where there is doubt, faith,
  Darkness, light.
  Where there is sadness, joy.
  We  a s k it in the spirit of love,
  Of him who is the source of love.
  Amen.
 

BEWARE OF THE SOLDIER

 
Elegy Prelude - "The Souls of the Slain" - (Thomas Hardy) Songs of Innocence - "Blossom" - (William Blake)
Prologue - "L'Homme arme" - (14th Century - Anon.) Men's Choir Songs of War - "A War Prayer - (Mark Twain)
  "Against War" - (Latin from Tibullus) Boys Choir Songs of Innocence - "Maying" -- (Elizabethan - Anon.)
Elegy Interlude - "The Souls of the Slain" Elegy Interlude - "The Souls of the Slain"
Songs of Innocence - "Infant Joy" - (William Blake) Songs of War -- "The Man and the Angel" - (William Blake)
Songs of War - "War is Sacred" - (Quoted from a speech by a Russian Army General in Tolsoy's 'On Civil Disobedience') Songs of Innocence - "Little Lamb" - (William Blake)
Elegy Interlude - "The Souls of the Slain" Songs of War -- "Here where a thousand captain's swore great conquest" - (Haiku)
Songs of Innocence -- "The Grasshopper and Cricket" - (John Keats) Epilogue - "L'Homme arms" - (14th Century - Anon.) Men's Choir
Songs of War - "War is Kind" - (Stephen Crane)   "Against War" - (Latin from Tibullus) Boys.Choir
(with Elegy Interlude between verses I and Il) Prayer - (from St. Francis and Mark Twain)
 

CRI SD 341

  MUSIC BY GREGG SMITH

COMPOSERS RECORDINGS, INC.

  170 West 74th Street, New York, N.Y. 10023