The Masque at Kenilworth

The Masque at Kenilworth
Henry F. Chorley (librettist) and Arthur Sullivan (composer)

Originally titled "Kenilworth, A Masque of the days of Queen Elizabeth", it is now generally referred to as "The Masque at Kenilworth". The libretto was taken from the score, except for No. 7, which, though retaining Chorley's changing of words, uses Shakespeare's formatting. For more information, see The Masque at Kenilworth at Wikipedia.

No. 1, Introduction: A Summer Night (Instrumental)Edit

No. 2, Chorus, "Hark! The Sound that Hails a King"Edit


Hark! the sound that hails a King
Yonder cannon signaling


She is near!


Lo! the blaze more bright than day!
Spreading down the throngéd way.


She is here!


Hail! the flower of England met,
Mitre, Spear, and Coronet,
To salute our sov'reign dear.


Here a bevy fair of pleasures
Waits to greet her with their treasures


For the Lady of the Lake
Does her haunted couch forsake


Sylvans come in jolly train


Old Arion from the main


Thespis with her gilded car.


Dancers who the nimblest be
Minstrels harping lustily
Crowd around the brightest star
Of the host that brightest are
As she sweeps in maiden state
Through her vassal's palace gate,
While the trumpet's pompous breath
And the bells that thundring peal
Till the towers with gladness reel
Welcome our Elizabeth.
God save the Queen!

No. 3, Song, "I have slept beneath the water" (The Lady of the Lake)Edit


I have slept beneath the water
On my quiet bed of green,
As the great Magician's daughter,
Who hath dreamed, unheard, unseen.
Since the times of brave King Arthur,
When the Knight was used to roam
In the search of wild adventure
And the Lady wept at home.
But I wake to life and summer,
With my lilies on my brow
For there's joy for each new comer,
And the merry days are now.
I have slept beneath the water,
On my quiet bed of green,
While, above me, storm and slaughter
Have passed, though heard, unseen.
But the secrets I have treasured
Will my lake to none betray,
For below they hide in twilight,
Though above you have the day;
Now I wake to life and glory,
With my lilies on my brow,
To forget that rude old story,
For the golden days are now!

No. 4, Quartett and Chorus of Sylvans, "Let Fauns the cymbal ring"Edit


Let fauns the cymbal ring,
And blow the cornet sweet,
While Sylvans tribute bring
To Oriana's[1] feet!
And from her secret cell,
Where she alone doth dwell,
Dame Echo's voice declare
To the obedient air
How proud she is.
Let fauns the cymbal ring,
And blow the cornet sweet,
While Sylvans tribute bring
To Oriana's feet!


Like Summer's bounteous noon,
Most radiant to behold,
As chaste as younder moon,
But not one half so cold.


Hark! while in joyous crowd
Stout Dryads shout aloud!
Her part will Echo bear,
And far away declare
How brave she is! How fair!

No. 5, Slow Dance with ChorusEdit


Fa la la, etc.

No. 6, Arion's Song, "I am a ruler on the sea"Edit



I am a ruler on the sea,
Over these sturdy mariners,
Who feel not fear so much as glee,
When ever wind old Ocean stirs.
Who feel not fear so much as glee,
When ever wind old Ocean stirs.
Let e'er so blithe its dolphins play,
Let e'er its waves so wildly roar,
Go east, go west, go where we may,
Our hearts are firmly moor'd on shore;
And from the deep and from the strand,
Where Tritons fling their trumpets down,
This is our message to the land,
"We guard from harm old England's crown!"


Who dares to brag and boast afar,
Like thunder clouds that threaten rain?
What need we care if jealous war
Be brooding in the ports of Spain?
What need we care if jealous war
Be brooding in the ports of Spain?
Our Queen may let such bodings pass,
And answer with a haughty smile,
No Don shall touch a blade of grass
In any border of our isle!
The very highway stones would rise,
The shepherd's hills rain ruin down
Were we not there, against surprise,
To guard our glorious England's crown!

No 6a, Contralto Solo: "Place for the Queen our Show to see"Edit


Place for the Queen our Show to see
Now speak Immortal Poetry!

No 7, Duet (Tenor and Soprano) Scene from the Merchant of Venice: "How sweet the moonlight sleeps"Edit

TENOR [Lorenzo]:[3]

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here let us sit, and let the sound of music
Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Look how the floor of Heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold:
There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins;
Such harmony is in immortal sounds;[4]
In such a night as this,
When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees
And they did make no noise, in such a night
Troilus, methinks, mounted the Troyan wall,
And sigh'd his soul toward the Grecian tents,
Where Cressid lay that night.

SOPRANO [Jessica]:

On such a night
Did Thisbe fearfully o'ertrip the dew,
And saw the lion's shadow ere himself,
And ran dismay'd away.


In such a night as this,
When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees
In such a night,
Stood Dido, with a willow in her hand,
Upon the wild sea banks and waved her love
To come again to Carthage.
In such a night as this!

No 8, A Brisk Dance (Instrumental)Edit

No 9, Solo and Chorus: "After banquet, play, and riot"Edit


After banquet, play, and riot,
Cometh timely hour of quiet!
Bower, hall, and corridor
Are with poppy leaves bespread!
Morpheus stayeth at the door
Of the guest so cherishéd.


Sleep, great Queen! And do not dream,
Sleep in peace, our watch is set.
Till tomorrow's morn shall beam
On the masque not ended yet.
Sleep great Queen, sleep in peace!
Day shall bring thee new delight,
Trumpets sound before good night
Over our sov'reign's couch is said
With a blessing on her bed.
God save the Queen!


[1] Oriana: Queen Elizabeth.
[2] Legendary Greek poet who was thrown off a ship and rescued by dolphins.
[3] This is a cut-and-paste job of various conversations between Lorenzo and Jessica in Act V, Scene I of the Merchant of Venice.
[4] Chorley was heavily criticised for this change: The original was "Such harmony is in immortal souls". There are several other mistakes in this section.