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Monday, February 7, 2011

Evening Benediction

(The Cradle by Berthe Morisot, 1841-1895,
French Impressionist painter)

The story about brother and sister Hansel and Gretel is one of the many German folk tales collected by the linguists Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm in the first decades of the nineteenth century.

Years later, this Brothers Grimm fairy tale was transformed into an opera by Engelbert Humperdinck. It was first performed in 1893 under the baton of Richard Strauss, and remains popular, especially during the Christmas holiday.

The words below are sung by the two children when they become lost and scared in a dark forest.


When at night I go to sleep,
Fourteen angels watch do keep:
Two my head are guarding,
Two my feet are guiding,
Two are on my right hand,
Two are on my left hand,
Two who warmly cover,
Two who o’er me hover,
Two to whom ’tis given
To guide my steps to heaven.

~ Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921), German composer

1 comment:

Barbara Sullivan Mangogna said...

A beautiful painting. A beautiful lullabye. It was my children's (and my) favorite.