Weep You No More Sad Fountains


I’ve entitled this post “Weep You No More Sad Fountains” But it could easily be called “Joy Comes”    or  “Sleep.”

In life,   we all have good days and bad days.

For me , yesterday was a bad day and I’m still having a hard time shaking it.    Yet it is funny where our minds go to help us heal.   In this case it brought me to two poems.   Well, a psalm and a poem.  Yes that’s right.  Two poems. Two songs. Maybe three

The first is Psalm 30

I praise you, LORD, for you raised me up

and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.

O LORD, my God,

I cried out to you for help and you healed me.

LORD, you brought my soul up from Sheol;

you let me live, from going down to the pit.


Sing praise to the LORD, you faithful;

give thanks to his holy memory.

For his anger lasts but a moment;

his favor a lifetime.

At dusk weeping comes for the night;

but at dawn there is rejoicing.

Those lines, “weeping comes for the night, but at dawn there is rejoicing.” have brought me solace through many a difficult time.   The sentiment of the whole psalm is rich as I could so relate to the feeling of going down, down, down into the pit.

And as loose association would have it, the second poem is one that I sang in a voice recital.   In hindsight that grouping of songs was probably a bummer…. because  I know I did two versions of “Weep You No More Sad Fountains”   and one of “Slow, Slow, Fresh Font.”   As an exercise in comparing and contrasting musical interpretations it was wonderful for me as a voice student but probably a lot of dark for those in attendance.    Hmm… I should see if I can find the videos of that.

In this song it is the beautiful line that  “sleep is a reconciling,  a rest that peace begets”  that has reminded me many a time to “go to sleep it will be better tomorrow.”  Though sometimes,  that dark night that strikes is even harder to deal with. When you can’t sleep, you can’t pray, you can’t be awake, and you are just not sure how to be.  It is a matter of waiting

Weep You No More Sad Fountains

Weep you no more, sad fountains;

What need you flow so fast?

Look how the snowy mountains

Heaven’s sun doth gently waste!

But my sun’s heavenly eyes

View not your weeping,

That now lies sleeping,

Softly now, softly lies Sleeping.


Sleep is a reconciling,

A rest that peace begets;

Doth not the sun rise smiling

When fair at e’en he sets?

Rest you, then, rest, sad eyes!

Melt not in weeping,

While she lies sleeping,

Softly now, softly lies Sleeping.

This has been set to music by more than a dozen composers, and was recently found in the movie “Sense and Sensibility”  with a setting by Patrick Doyle.   Strangely,   one of the most beautiful versions available of this text available now is by STING…..   how strange and versatile that man is.    He may not have the standard counter tenor sound, but he surely imparts the emotion.

I sang the Roger Quilter setting:

And the John Dowland

From “Sense and Sensibilities”


The last poem I spoke of is below.  I found some madrigal settings of it, but not the solo version I did.  I believe

 Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount
 Slow, slow, fresh fount, keep time with my salt tears;
   Yet slower, yet, O faintly, gentle springs!
   List to the heavy part the music bears,
   Woe weeps out her division, when she sings.
       Droop herbs and flowers;
       Fall grief in showers;
       Our beauties are not ours.
               O, I could still,
   Like melting snow upon some craggy hill,
       Drop, drop, drop, drop,
Since nature’s pride is now a withered daffodil.
Ben Johnson 1572-1637