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Opera Libretti

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Title Page
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Part 2

Asaph, ’tis well advis’d:
Nabal today carouses with his friends ’midst plenteous store of all provisions;
his vast treasures yield.
Speed thou, my friend, and ask some kind relief on this our dire necessity.

Meanwhile, Let us address with pray’r the God of heaven,
whose bounteous providence o’er all his works oft chears the sad
and bids the famish’d soul luxuriant feast, ’till nature craves no more.

Great Creator, who kindly feedest
with thine hand the brute creation blest,
with nutrimental store;
by thy all supporting pow’r –,
favour’d with peculiar care;
let not man pine, pine with hunger
and deep despair.

God, who in thy hea’vnly hand
dost hold the hearts of mighty kings;
O take thy servant and his band
beneath the shadow of thy wings.

Thou knowst our wants before our pray’r;
O let us not confounded be,
thy tender mercies let us share.

O Lord, we trust alone in thee,
we trust in thee, O Lord,
in thee, O Lord, we trust alone in thee!

Recitative and Accompagnato
Thus saith my lord, the king of Israel elect, David, the son of Jesse. –

Peace to thee and to thine house, O Nabal,
and to all thy relatives,
peace and prosperity.
Ev’n he, whose servants have protected thee
from incursions of thine enemies,
nor took from thy unnumbered flocks a lamb,
now in distressful state for pity sues,
some small remittance from thy plenteous store
not as a debt, but as a friendly boon.

Grateful hearts enjoy the blessing,
pour’d from heav’ns all bounteous hand;
when not pleas’d with sole possessing
but still giving, still relieving
they obey heav’ns great command.

They alone enjoy the blessing,
pour’d from heav’ns all bounteous hand,
who distress with pity viewing
and kind natures call persuing spreading favours through the land;
thus obey heav’n’s great command,
these alone deserve the blessing,
pour’d from heaven’s all bounteous hand.

Who is this David? Who this son of Jesse?
I know him not.
Ye servants too full oft’ with craft assume
an uncommission’d Charge:
But nought from these my shearers will I take,
to give a wretched fugitive.
Be gone, nor stay to interrupt our festal joy.

With harps new strung
let ev’ry hand, and voice in concert joyn,
to sing the staple of our land
a never failing mine.

Solo and Chorus
Come! Come! Live with pleasure,
taste in youth life’s only joy.
Old age knows no leisure,
but dull wintry thoughts to employ.

The Boys
Come! Come! Live with pleasure,
taste in youth life’s only joy.
Old age knows no leisure,
but dull wintry thoughts to employ.

Come! Come! Live with pleasure,
taste in youth life’s only joy.

Old age knows no leisure,
but dull wintry thoughts to employ.

Sing we the feast in sprightly measure,
filling our barns with various treasure,
to preserve from cold the peasant,
when bleak wintry winds make their spoil
and adorn the splendid pomp of majesty.

Ever pleasing, still increasing
and still increasing,
thus exciting and requiting
all the Shepherds hardy toil.

Crown with festal pomp the day:
Be mirth extravagantly gay,
bid the grateful altars smoke,
bid the maids the youths provoke,
to joyn the dance,
while music’s voice tells aloud
our rapturous joys.

Crown with festal pomp the day:
Be mirth extravagantly gay,
bid the grateful cauldrons smoke,
bid the grateful altars smoke
bid the maids the youths provoke
to join the Dance.

Bid the maids the youths provoke,
to join the dance,
while music’s vVoice tells aloud
our rapturous joys.

Thrice happy sheep, who know no care,
while with rich pasture fed, ye graze along the fertile vale
or on the mountains brow,
smile on your sportive offspring, as they play in frolic youth
and thoughtless innocence;
Whilst I, your mistress, sorrowing and forlorn,
am banish’d (from) every joy that life can give.

Mind Eternal, whose sole blessing
makes this life still worth possessing,
thou, whose pow’r knows no controul,
speak thy comfort to my soul.

Fly my good mistress, danger is at hand. –
From yonder hill I saw an armed troop
Bending this way. –
’Tis surely David’s host,
of late a wall to us both day and night,
but whom our master hath receiv’d with scorn,
denying bread and water.
Now he comes with furious stride,
to take revenge on this, the son of Belial’s,
black ingratitude.

Attend me, I will meet the godlike man;
and try, if possible, to avert the storm
with richest presents and most humble pray’r.

Fell monster! Base ingratitude!
Earth shall no longer groan
beneath the weight of such a wretch. –
No, thou and every male,
that sojourns in thine house,
shall surely feel the fury
of affronted majesty.

Fury in all thy terrors rise from dark abyss,
let ev’ry tender passion be no more –,
let ev’ry tender passion own thy Pow’r.

Shall I be thus requited
and my protection slighted,
with vengeful ardour go
and strike the blow.

On me, my Lord, on me,
let the transgression of Nabal fall. –
Behold, thine handmaid comes
Charg’d with provisions
for my gracious Lord and all his host. –

For ev’n inspir’d I know,
the Lord, our God,
whose battles thou hast fought,
will raise thee a sure house in Israel. –
Then shall my Lord rejoice,
he did not shed the blood of innocents,
for one man’s fault,
(his folly not his malice,)
nor did seek revenge
on Such an helpless Enemy.

Mercy, thou heavn’ly cherub,
with pleasing smiles look down,
with pleasing smiles his passion to controul.

My heavy griefs redressing,
Pour down thy choicest blessing,
to sooth his soul.
Oh, look down and sweetly sooth his soul.

Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel, and blessed thy advice. –
Thou hast withheld the strong uplifted arm from shedding blood,
and kept me from the stain of mean revenge.
Go to thine house in peace. –

While we, my friends, with grateful hearts, give Glory to the Lord.

All Creatures upon God depend, they rise by his command,
at his Command they end;
look up to him in all your ways, begin with pray’r and end with praise.


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