William Jackson (of Exeter)
(1730 - 1803)

Jackson (of Exeter) : Ye woods and ye mountains unknown : illustration

Ye woods and ye mountains unknown
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Elegy V 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: David Mallet

Ye woods and ye mountains unknown,
Beneath whose dark shadows I stray,
To the breast of my charmer alone
These sighs bid sweet echo convey.
Wherever he pensively leans,
By fountain, on hill, or in grove,
His heart will explain what she means,
Who sings both from sorrow and love.

More soft than the nightingale's song,
O waft the sad sound to his ear;
And say, tho' divided so long,
The friend of his bosom is near.
Then tell him what years of delight,
Then tell him what ages of pain,
I felt when I liv'd in his sight,
I feel till I see him again.