For high voice and piano, op. 40
Period of composition: 4 - 12 Sep 1947
First performance: 1 Nov 1947 >>
Location: Central Hall, Westminster (Dick Sheppard Memorial Concert)
Performance details:

Peter Pears ten, Benjamin Britten pf

Genre: Solo vocal
Text: Francis Quarles (1592-1644)

Quarles's poem is entitled 'Ev'n like two little bank-divided brooks' and is based on a line from The song of songs, also known as the 'Canticles'.

Duration: 7'
Dedication: 'This Canticle was written for the Dick Sheppard Memorial Concert on 1 November 1947, when it was performed by Peter Pears and the composer'.

Hugh Lawrie Richard Sheppard (1880-1937), Dean of Canterbury and founder of the Peace Pledge Union. The Canticle was originally to have been dedicated to Eric Crozier.


The original text source shares a volume with the texts for two other Canticles: Canticle III 'Still falls the rain - The raids, 1940, night and dawn', op. 55 and Canticle IV 'Journey of the Magi', op. 86.