official web site since 1997 of the composer, author, poet and visual artist

 Joseph Johannes (Joop) Visser:

ECCE HOMO; 6 Songs on Poems by

First World War Poets

for Alto and Church Organ

sketches as played on carillon and celesta

Original recordings of the

Première Performance by:

MIRJAM BOERS & LOUIS LEVELT

recording JAAP WAJER
15th of April 2012
in the Lutheran Church, Edam
the organ is built by Gideon Thomas Baetz from Utrecht

 

CHARLES HAMILTON SORLEY:
All the hills and vales along

 

JOSEPH RUDYARD KIPLING:
A son

 

JOSEPH RUDYARD KIPLING
Unknown Female Corpse

 

CHARLES HAMILTON SORLEY:


When you see Millions

 

WILFRED EDWARD S. OWEN:
Futility

 

PHILIP EDWARD THOMAS:
In Memoriam (Easter 1915)

RETURN TO

1st page of the '6 Songs'

 

When you see millions of the mouthless dead’

 

by Charles Hamilton Sorley

 

 

When you see millions of the mouthless dead
Across your dreams in pale battalions go,
Say not soft things as other men have said,
That you’ll remember. For you need not so.
Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know
It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.
Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.
Say only this, “They are dead.” Then add thereto,
“yet many a better one has died before.”
Then, scanning all the o’ercrowded mass, should you
Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,
It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.
Great death has made all his for evermore.

 

Louis Playing Spinet

Louis Levelt playing spinet.

 

 

G.M. Griffiths https://movehimintothesun.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/when-you-see-millions-of-the-mouthless-dead-charles-sorley/

“When you see millions of the mouthless dead… pale battalions go”: The opening lines are immediately both shocking and haunting. The second person address (the use of ‘you’ rather than ‘he’ or ‘I’) immediately personalizes the nightmare vision of the millions dead. It is an interesting question as to whom the implied reader is in this poem: is it those at home who have not witnessed the horrors of the war? Or is the march of the dead soldiers across the dreamworld of the living a universal experience, something unavoidable? Greek myth, which Sorley knew well, sometimes made the gods of sleep (Hypnos), death (Thanatos) and dreams (Morpheus) brothers; in this sense, encountering those who have died in battle in dreams is not necessarily an unexpected meeting.

Not in the least in disareement to Griffiths' entry I would add that Scotch tradition gives that there is no distance between 'dead' and 'alive' when having a conversation; as such, making a sharp distiction between those who speak and those who are spoken to - and further more making rules, as a precaution, about what is to be said and what is not to be said - is beyond humane.