Garden Gossip [Spring Suite]

from by Mary Bichner



Musical setting of the Frances Sargent Osgood poem, "Garden Gossip". The key of D major was selected to match the colors near Consecration Dell in the spring.


(By: Frances Sargent Osgood)

“I will tell you a secret,” the honey-bee said
To a violet drooping her dew-laden head;
“The lily’s in love! for she listened last night,
While her sisters all slept in the holy moonlight,
To a zephyr that just had been rocking the rose,
Where, hidden, I hearkened in seeming repose.

“I would not betray her to any but you,
But the secret is safe with a spirit so true—
It will rest in your bosom in silence profound.”
The violet bent her blue eye to the ground:
A tear and a smile in her loving look lay,
While the light-winged gossip went whirring away.

“I will tell you a secret,” the honey-bee said
And the young lily lifted her beautiful head—
“The violet thinks with her timid blue eye,
To pass for a blossom enchantingly shy;
But for all her sweet manners, so modest and pure,
She gossips with every gay bird that sings to her.

“Now let me advise you, sweet flower, as a friend,
Oh, ne’er to such beings your confidence lend;
It grieves me to see one, all guileless like you,
Thus wronging a spirit so trustful and true:
But not for the world, love, my secret betray!”
And the little light gossip went buzzing away.

A blush in the lily’s check trembled and fled:
“I’m sorry her told me,” she tenderly said;
“If I mayn’t trust the violet, pure as she seems,
I must fold in my own heart my beautiful dreams.”
Was the mischief well-managed? Fair lady is’t true?
Did the light garden gossip take lessons of you?


from Mount Auburn: Spring and Autumn Suites, released June 3, 2017
Composed and arranged by Mary Bichner. Conducted by Kristo Kondakçi. Performed by Evanangelia Leontis (Lily), Mary Bichner (Violet), Mali Sastri (Honey-Bee), Katharina Giegling (concertmaster), Sonia Deng (violin), Abby Swidler (violin), Christopher McClain (viola I principal), Minjung Chun (viola I), Carrol Lee (viola II principal), Foxman James (viola II), Aron Zelkowicz (cello principal), Nash Tomey (contrabass principal), Arielle Burke (flute), Elizabeth England (oboe), David Angelo (clarinet), and Susannah Telsey (bassoon).

Recorded and engineered by Antonio Oliart Ros at WGBH Studios in Boston, MA. Mixed and mastered by Peter Moore at Palace of Purpose in Malden, MA. Consulting by Xiao’an Li. Commissioned by The Friends of Mount Auburn and Mount Auburn Cemetery.



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