William Jackson (of Exeter)
(1730 - 1803)

Jackson (of Exeter) : In a vale closed with woodland : illustration

In a vale closed with woodland
(A.T.B.Continuo)
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Elegy IV 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: William Shenstone

In a vale clos'd with woodland, where grottos abound,
And rivulets murmur, and echoes resound,
I vow'd to the Muses my time and my care;
Since neither could win me the smiles of my fair.

As freedom inspir'd me, I rang'd and I sung;
And Daphne's dear name never fell from my tongue.
But if a smooth accent delighted my ear,
I should wish, unawares, that my Daphne might hear.

With fairest ideas my bosom I stor'd,
To drive from my heart the fair nymph I ador'd;
But the more I with study my fancy refin'd,
The deeper impression she made on my mind.

Ah! whilst I the beauties of nature pursue,
I still must my Daphne's fair image renew:
The Graces have chosen with Daphne to rove,
And the Muses are all in alliance with Love.