19. For you, my friends

From Belshazzar, HWV 61, Act I

George Frideric Handel
C major

English text


For you my friends, the nobles of my court,
I have prepar’d a feast magnificent,
Worthy of you and me. Let all my wives
And concubines attend. Our royal mother —


I must prevent thee, son. Who can endure
Th’unbridled license of this festival,
Miscall’d by the licentious, liberty?
Where nought prevails but riotous excess,
The noisy idiot laugh, the jest obscene,
The scurril taunt, and drunken midnight brawl.
My soul starts back at such brutality,
Asserting reason’s empire.

About the text

  • Author: Charles Jennens


  • Belshazzar (Tenore)
  • Nitocris (Soprano)
  • Continuo


Similar instrumentation

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