John Speller's Web Pages To Blaze the Rising

John Speller's Web Pages - Epiphany

To Blase the Rising
An Epiphany hymn by St. Richard Southwell, S.J.

Southwell was a fine poet and a beautiful soul who found himself on the wrong side of the religious controversies of the sixteenth century and ended up being executed for treason in 1595. It has to be said, however, that to some extent Southwell may have courted martyrdom, since he went to England as a Catholic priest against the advice of his own Order, and furthermore remained beyond the one month permitted by law. The authorities arrested him after six years, and then only because he had been ministering to a woman who was implicated in treason. It is not believed that he was in any way actually part of the treason himself.

The tune used here is Gibbons's "Song 24," written for "No. 24. How sad and solitary now," the first of Jeremiah's Lamentations in George Wither's Hymns & Songs of the Church , a collection of metrical settings of biblical texts published in 1623.

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'"Epiphany", by Fernando Gallego, late fifteenth century.
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