So Hallow’d the Time, No. 3: Love

“A Child My Choice”

SATB, harp or piano.

Premiered by the Taylor Festival Choir in December 2014, this is the central movement of a five work cycle entitled So Hallow’d the Time. The full work premiered in 2017, and was released on Delos recording in 2020.


Let folly praise what fancy loves,
I praise and love that Child,
Whose heart no thought, whose tongue no word,
Whose hand no deed defiled,

I praise Him most, I love Him best,
All praise and love is His;
While Him I love, in Him I live,
And cannot live amiss.

Love’s sweetest mark, laud’s highest theme,
Man’s most desired light.
To love Him life, to leave Him death.
To live in Him delight.

He mine by gift, I His by debt,
Thus each to other due,
First friend He was, best friend He is,
All times will find Him true.

Though young, yet wise, though small, yet strong,
Though Man, yet God He is;
As wise He knows, as strong He can,
As God He loves to bless.

His knowledge rules, His strength defends,
His love doth cherish all;
His Birth our joy, His Life our light,
His Death our end of thrall.

Alas! He weeps, He sighs, He pants,
Yet do His Angels sing;
Out of His tears, His sighs and throbs,
Doth bud a joyful spring.

Almighty Babe, Whose tender Arms
Can force all foes to fly,
Correct my faults, protect my life,
Direct me when I die!

—Robert Southwell (1561-1595)