William Jackson (of Exeter)
(1730 - 1803)

Jackson (of Exeter) : Thou to whose eyes I bend : illustration

Thou to whose eyes I bend
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Invocation from Jackson's Elegies, Op. 3, 1762.

In his frontispiece, Jackson specified performance in the following terms: "I would just observe, that the following pieces will lose their effect, when the parts are doubled. The manner of performance that I would recommend, is by three voices singing moderately soft, and accompanied with any bass instrument that may have the effect of an accompaniment only; for nothing hurts a piece so much, as making a part principal, or even equal with others, when it was intended to be subservient. The equality of strength among the voices should also be observed; if one voice of the three be strong, and the others weak, it is necessary to soften it down, that the balance may not be destroyed; for it should always be remembered, that as no principal part was intended, there must be none produced".
Lyrics: Matthew Prior

Thou to whose eyes I bend, at whose command
(Tho' low my voice, tho' artless be thy hand,)
I take the sprightly reed and sing or play,
Careless of all the censuring world may say.
O fairest of thy sex, be thou my muse,
Deign on my work thy influence to diffuse;
So shall my notes to future times proclaim
Unbounded love and everduring flame.