Britten’s exquisite English art song cycle,
“Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings”

March 16, 2013 – Here are the lyrics and a YouTube audio of Benjamin Britten’s song cycle Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings (Op. 31).  The poems are by Cotton, Tennyson, Blake, Jonson, and Keats, as well as the unattributed verse known as the “Lyke-Wake Dirge.”

This 1971 Angel recording features tenor Robert Tear and horn player Alan Civil, with the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra conducted by Neville Marriner. Enjoy!



PROLOGUE (instrumental)

PASTORAL (Charles Cotton, 1630—1687)

The day’s grown old; the fainting sun
Has but a little way to run,
And yet his steeds, with all his skill,
Scarce lug the chariot down the hill.

The shadows now so long do grow,
That brambles like tall cedars show;
Mole hills seem mountains, and the ant
Appears a monstrous elephant.

A very little, little flock
Shades thrice the ground that it would stock;
Whilst the small stripling following them
Appears a mighty Polypheme.

And now on benches all are sat,
In the cool air to sit and chat,
Till Phoebus, dipping in the West,
Shall lead the world the way to rest.

NOCTURNE “Blow, Bugle, blow” (Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1809—1892)

THE splendour falls on castle walls           
      And snowy summits old in story:         
    The long light shakes across the lakes,  
      And the wild cataract leaps in glory.    
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying. 

    O hark, O hear! how thin and clear,       
      And thinner, clearer, farther going!     
    O sweet and far from cliff and scar       
      The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!
Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying:
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

    O love, they die in yon rich sky,  
      They faint on hill or field or river:       
    Our echoes roll from soul to soul,
      And grow for ever and for ever.           
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,        
And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.

ELEGY “The Sick Rose” (William Blake, 1757—1827)

O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

DIRGE “Lyke-Wake Dirge” (Anonymous, traditional)

THIS ae nighte, this ae nighte,
— Refrain: Every nighte and alle,
Fire and fleet and candle-lighte,
— Refrain: And Christe receive thy saule.

When thou from hence away art past
To Whinny-muir thou com’st at last

If ever thou gavest hosen and shoon,
Sit thee down and put them on;

If hosen and shoon thou ne’er gav’st nane
The whinnes sall prick thee to the bare bane.

From Whinny-muir when thou may’st pass,
To Brig o’ Dread thou com’st at last;

From Brig o’ Dread when thou may’st pass,
To Purgatory fire thou com’st at last;

If ever thou gavest meat or drink,
The fire sall never make thee shrink;

If meat or drink thou ne’er gav’st nane,
The fire will burn thee to the bare bane;

This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
— Every nighte and alle,
Fire and fleet and candle-lighte,
— And Christe receive thy saule.

HYMN “The Hymn of Hesperus” (Ben Jonson, 1572—1637)

Queen, and huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair,
State in wonted manner keep :
    Hesperus entreats thy light,
    Goddess excellently bright.

Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose ;
Cynthia’s shining orb was made
Heaven to clear when day did close :
    Bless us then with wishèd sight,
    Goddess excellently bright.

Lay thy bow of pearl apart,
And thy crystal shining quiver ;
Give unto the flying hart
Space to breathe, how short soever :
    Thou that mak’st a day of night,
    Goddess excellently bright.

SONNET “To Sleep” (John Keats, 1795—1821)

O soft embalmer of the still midnight,
Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,
Our gloom-pleas’d eyes, embower’d from the light,
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine:

O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
Or wait the “Amen,” ere thy poppy throws
Around my bed its lulling charities.

Then save me, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes,—
Save me from curious Conscience, that still lords
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;

Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
And seal the hushed Casket of my Soul.

EPILOGUE (instrumental)

This post is dedicated to my new friend Elliott, for these last rare views of the sunset through the interlacing branches of Harlem’s winter trees.  – p.k.

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THE FRONT PAGE at www.paulklenk.us

The Front Page is published weekly on Mondays.

Recent articles...

  • Enjoy John Singleton Copley’s Watson and The Shark, and other art, on the Virtual Museum Tour. Links to the Met, MoMA, Whitney and NGA are updated.
  • Give new ESV Bibles to your friends and neighbors for as low as $2 – or even $1 – apiece.
  • My sister recently introduced me to an easy, yummy Chicken Stuffing Casserole.
  • “Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants,” performed by the legendary sleight-of-hand artist under the direction of David Mamet, is this week’s Feature Presentation in a 6-part YouTube playlist.
  • Like Scrabble? My new list of playable given and proper names may surprise you.
  • My short items in The New York Times’ “Metropolitan Diary” are linked on one page.
  • Hear Tim Keller’s sermon, “Injustice: Hasn't Christianity been an instrument for oppression?”
  • Many links and tools throughout the site are now refurbished and updated.

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$2.99 Bibles available for $2 apiece, and as low as $1

Crossway’s affordable
ESV Economy Bible
February 20, 2011 – A few years ago, I fell in love with a new and fresh translation of the Bible, called The English Standard Version (ESV). And today, I’d like to share with you how you or your church can buy some very inexpensive, elegant editions of this Bible for $2.00 each, and even as low as $1.00.

Everyone should have a Bible, and every Christian should be prepared to give a Bible to anyone who wants or needs one. This can be done economically. Crossway, the publisher of the ESV, has made giving Bibles much easier by publishing the most affordable edition of the Bible on the market, called The ESV Economy Bible.

Crossway calls these “outreach editions,” a trade paperback designed specifically for giving away in small and large quantities. By producing them inexpensively, they can be purchased in cases of 48 by churches and even individuals, at a low price. Crossway’s outreach editions are lovely to look at, with very elegant typesetting (a feature I have always loved about their Bibles), and are easy to carry and read. Some are full Bibles (Old and New Testaments), and some are New Testaments only. They have NT editions with both Christmas- and Easter-themed covers, priced at $1.00 and perfect for use in inviting your neighbors to holiday services.

ESV Outreach Bible,
Blossom Design
The ESV Economy Bible has a retail value of $2.99. But it is only available by the case; when purchased quantities of 48, or $86.12 per case, the price drops to $1.80 apiece. With shipping ($20.83), the total cost per unit is $2.29.

For an even more amazing price, you can purchase 5 cases at $48.00 per case; this is 240 Bibles for $240.00, or $1.00 apiece, an ideal price and quantity for churches. Shipping for 5 cases is $98.01, making the per-unit cost $1.41.

Remember, this is a full Bible, not the New Testament only, in an edition less than 1" thick that includes an article on What the Bible is All About, a Reading Plan, and a Plan of Salvation.

Follow these links to learn more about the translation philosophy of the ESV, its team of translators and its editors, and the history of translations leading to this version. An excellent study Bible is also available, complete with an amazing interactive digital version on the Web which allows you to bookmark pages, highlight passages, and even make notes in the margins, just as you would with a paper Bible.


– p.k.


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Cooking for Non-Cooks: Chicken Stuffing Casserole;
Revised to reduce sodium for a better-tasting dish

February 10, 2011Chicken Stuffing Casserole is a tasty and hearty “homemade” dish that is easy for non-cooks to make. It is guaranteed to satisfy everyone, from finicky children to grown-up foodies. It will get gobbled up at potlucks, and freezes well if you like to stock up on homemade meals. Read more »

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“Household” names, playable in Scrabble

February 4, 2011 – One of the delights of playing Scrabble is learning unusual and arcane words.  Recently I was surprised to find that the first names of two of my siblings, Laura and Timothy, are actually playable words. Read more »

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My pieces in The New York Times’ Metropolitan Diary

January 28, 2010 – Each Monday, The New York Times publishes stories by its readers about life in New York City, in a N.Y. / Metro column called “Metropolitan Diary.”  It’s a day-brightener of anecdotes, cute stories, overheard conversations and acts of kindness which reflect the City’s unique signature.  Read more »

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Vive le cliché! Julia Child’s recipe
for Boeuf à la Bourguignonne

January 13, 2010 – Julia Child’s publisher, Knopf, has generously made her legendary Boeuf à la Bourguignonne recipe available online (view it below).

As you know, the dish was featured in Julie & Julia. After it opened, The New York Times ran a piece about the reaction in France to the movie, Child, and her cuisine.

One prominent French cookbook author and television personality, Julie Andrieu, called Child’s cuisine a “cliché,” “academic and bourgeois.”   But she does admit that Americans write better cookbooks than the French.

“The French think that they are natural-born cooks; they prepare a dish off the top of their heads, without testing it,” she said. “In France, we rush over explanations.”

And then Andrieu followed Child’s example and tested the recipe.

From the article:  After watching “Julie & Julia,” Ms. Andrieu said, she felt compelled to go home and make boeuf bourguignon according to Ms. Child’s recipe. “I cut the flour in half, and it turned out to be the best I had ever made,” she said.

So much for clichés!

While preparing for my future attempt at this great dish, I stumbled upon a terrific video (see below) produced by Wine Spectator which makes reference to chef Thomas Keller’s refined version of Child’s recipe (adapted here).  Normally I would not be interested in such a thing, but Bruce Sanderson and Owen Dugan sold me on it.  (Another remarkable suggestion worth sharing – one which I believe sells itself – is to serve the stew in puffed pastry shells!)

Additionally, they have chosen a wine to be served with the dish.  Child pioneered the inclusion of wine pairings with recipes; Sanderson and Dugan followed her lead and recommended a red Rhône Syrah, Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Sélections Saint-Joseph Offerus 2006.  At $29.95, it is quite affordable.  It is widely (and wildly) praised on the Web, and Snooth can help you find it.

Julia’s recipe:


Wine Spectators video:


I found this recipe online by accident. I was going to ask one of my two older sisters to copy it out of their Mastering the Art of French Cooking and send it to me. (The past two Christmases we’ve talked about making it, and I have a standing promise to visit Laura upstate to do just that.)

– p.k.

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Julia Child, drunk on her own authority

December 12, 2009 – Part of Julia Child’s charm is that she nonchalantly became her own authority. One of my favorite quotes is her description of her “brand-new, super-duper” Chocolate Mousse Dessert Cake:

“And here it is: Le Gâteau Victoire au Chocolat, Mousseline! One of the great chocolate cakes of all time, according to me.”

Not, “in my opinion,” but “according to me.” Who says that? A master citing herself, that’s who.

She restates this notion of self-authority in the same television segment, a guide to an intimate tableside cooking of Steak Diane:

“So, as I said at the beginning before we started cooking, I think this is a nifty little dinner (and I really agree with myself) for a chafing dish dinner.”

The menu (which she pronounces “may-noo”) of this very simple feast includes:
  • A cold first course, a ceviche [“sev-EE-chee”] of scallops, with fresh artichoke bottoms
  • Steak Diane (“cooked in a chafing dish, right at the table”)
  • Mashed potatoes, “made out of actual potatoes, which is a rare thing” (rare in 1978, I guess)
  • Fresh peas
  • The cake, made with a full pound of chocolate
Child must have imbibed quite a bit of alcohol on a daily basis, I think. I cannot believe that someone whose recipes and menus included such a prodigious amount of spirits, and a kitchen so well-stocked with them, did not start drinking around lunchtime.

For this meal alone, the following alcohols are used:

As ingredients:
  • For the cake, rum.
  • For the steak’s sauce, “a little bit of Madeira or port… [plus] a few drops of cognac” added at the last minute for taste. (“That never hurt anything.”)
Served with the meal:
  • “With the Steak Diane, I would serve a nice red Bordeaux, or a cabernet, and with the first course, the ceviche, you could serve a chablis or Riesling.”
  • And with the dessert, “a fine bottle of vintage champagne, maybe one of the great California wines.”
Bon appétit, à la vôtre, and enjoy the video.



(From Julia Child & Company, 1978.)

– p.k.

2/21/11  |  Postscript: I am amused to see that many Google searches leading readers to this page include the words julia+child+drunk, was+julia+child+drunk, or words to that effect. No, my headline is only a play on words, reflecting Child’s citation of herself as an authority, and her love of using alcohol in her cooking. Her producer, Geoffrey Drummond, watched the 700+ shows that survive on tape, and never once saw her drinking from a bottle or exhibiting signs of inebriation (or, for that matter, dropping a chicken or reusing food that fell on the floor).







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Putting it together: ESV bibles and candy canes


December 7, 2009 – Now that Christmas is almost here, it’s time for me to prepare my bible gift bags so I can leave them at my neighbors’ doors (see previous post). The bag is a “door hanger” and will include a festive New Testament, a gospel tract, an invitation to my church’s Christmas services, and a coupon for a free trial access to the ESV Online Study Bible.

One thing I am concerned about is, when people see the bags hanging on their doorknobs, I don’t want them to think it’s a throw-away advertisement. I need a way to customize the outside of the bag so it’s more personal and invites the recipient to actually look inside.

My solution? Candy canes. Attached to each bag will be a bright piece of candy to give it a festive personal touch.

I found a great deal at CVS yesterday: 52 candy canes for only $3.99. That’s less than 8¢ per candy cane! The only other expense I’ll have is the cost of printing the Christmas service invitations, and I don’t think that’ll cost much either. With the price of the 50 bible kits at $58 (including shipping), I expect to spend less than $70 on this project, or $1.40 per gift.

Since I won’t have access to the inside of many of my neighbors’ apartment buildings, I may have to attach the bags to their mailboxes in the public area. So again, I think having the candy canes on the outside of the bags will make it clear that these are gifts from an actual person, not a business promotion.

I thought about including a short history of the candy cane as well, but I did some research and discovered most of the claims of their historical religious imagery (red stripes, secret codes for persecuted Christians, a candy maker from Indiana) are urban myths. I don’t want to distract from the historical truth of Christ’s birth with meaningless legends – I just want to find a way to make sure people open their bags!

Another idea I had, if I have time, is to buy or create bookmarks and insert them at Luke 2 (between pp. 46-47). This is where Luke begins his account of Jesus’ birth. If I don’t have time, I may use the Max Lucado gospel tracts or the study bible coupons as bookmarks.

What are your plans for your bible gift bags? Leave a comment below.

– p.k.




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My first blog – before they called it “blogging”

November 18, 2009 – I was “blogging” in October 1998, before there was such a word. My very first Web site at Angelfire included a daily journal I posted when Dad was in the hospital, with prayer requests for him and our family.

Sadly, John passed away on October 18, 1998. Coincidentally, the next day, OpenDiary.com was founded; it is the first blog community where users could comment on each other’s entries. (The word “weblog” was coined in 1997; it was first shortened to “blog” in 1999.)

I have been unable to log into that old Angelfire account for years, so it hasn’t been edited since my last post. I sure hope it’s never deleted:
You will notice an announcement on my old site that I was moving it to paulklenk.com. Well, I never quite accomplished that. I did own that domain name for a time, but when I let it lapse, it was snatched up by an evil realtor in the state of Washington. I’m sure I’ll never see it again.

In hindsight, I really do like the .us domain, and own several names there. Obviously, this blog is not a “commercial” site, so the .com TLD is probably not appropriate anyway.

Other Domains I Own

I’ve always loved discovering unique and snappy-sounding domain names. Often when a phrase comes to mind, I do a search at GoDaddy.com to see if it’s available to buy. Some sites I currently own (but seldom update) are plasticpie.com (humor), loudcitizen.org (politics), pkea.us (“Paul Klenk, Executive Assistant”), oriboxi.com (origami boxes), and zombiesforobama.com (for the viral video I co-produced).

I think the second domain I ever owned was www.WebSiteonaStick.com, which I used to market ready-made Web sites of my own design. I advertised my services in The New Yorker during the ’98 Christmas season; the ad can be seen on page 98 of the December 21 issue.

Recently I identified a veritably wicked domain to use for Tea Party politics; if I am successful in obtaining it, I’ll announce it on this post with an update.

But I think the jewel in my crown is a domain I purchased at 101domain.com, the registrar for Pakistan. That country’s TLD is .pk, and since my initials are PK, I searched their registry one day and found that www.paul.pk was available. Wow!  It’s so pithy, clever, and unusual – I just love it! At present, I only use it to point to my Google Profile page, but one day I may find another use for it.

– p.k.











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