“Laudamus te” from J.S. Bach’s B-minor Mass This aria so beautifully sung, Its obbligato part ethereal; Such coloratura from one so young, So evanescent, immaterial. Her limpid voice would almost somersault, While dancing back and forth in swift ascent Until it seemed to reach the heavens’ vault The very portals of the firmament. But someone else was singing in the choir that day, Our happiness Bach’s music might have sealed. I cared for her far more than I could say, With choral music our beloved field: That lass at mass alas I said I’d wed, She’d lief have read my requiem instead. The Hebrides Overture What Mendelssohn out of his head can wring From nature’s chords, what crashing seas of sound! With growling shag and rock-dove’s clopping wing, The oystercatcher’s piping din. Thus bound Transfixed did Ulysses hear sirens sing. As Fingal’s Cave responds to laughing gull So vast cathedral walls with echoes ring To fill the vaulted cavern of his skull. Can any artist’s medium acquaint Us with those wild tempestuous seas so well? Can written word evoke or seascape paint The fury, find elsewhere some parallel? He breathes with us the Hebridean air And lingers, though his body isn’t there. Handel’s Messiah: A Prayer With “Soli Deo Gloria”, as found Initialled on his score, does he restate His pious self-effacement and relate How zealous work will see His glory crowned. Cathedral stalls and concert halls redound To His acclaim, as Saul and Samson rate With Solomon among the very great To let an even greater work resound. For God’s amanuensis was he sent, This instrument of the Omnipotent. His tympani, strings, hautboys and keyboard, With clarions bright and solo voices scored, His chorus praise Him in memoriam, And Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. Peter Hartley is a retired painting restorer. He was born in Liverpool and lives in Manchester, UK.