Drop, drop, slow tears

Drop, drop, slow tears. Phineas Fletcher* (1582-1650). From Fletcher’s Piscatorie Eclogs and other Poeticall Miscellanies (1633), where it is a short six-line poem entitled ‘An Hymne’. The ten-syllabled lines were made into lines of six and four syllables to make a total of twelve lines, divided into three stanzas. In this form it was included by James Martineau* in his Hymns for the Christian Church and Home (1840). It subsequently appeared in EH and SofP, set to the ‘First Strain’ of Orlando Gibbons*’s SONG 46, which suits its touching simplicity and its emotional range. It was retained in NEH, and has been included in A&MCP, in the ‘Passiontide and Holy Week’...

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