23. They tell you true

From Belshazzar, HWV 61, Act I

George Frideric Handel
B flat major

English text


They tell you true; nor can you be to learn
(Though ease and pleasure have engross’d you all)
Things done in public view. I’ll not repeat
The seven-fold heated furnace, by that God
Whom you defy, made to his faithful servants
A walk of recreation; nor the king,
In height of all his pride, drove from his throne,
And from the first of men, in thought a god,
Reduc’d to brutal rank: all this, and more,
Thou knows’t as well as I, and shoulds’t consider.


Away! Is then my mother convert grown
To Jewish superstition? Apostate queen!
These idle tales might well become the dotage
Of palsied eld, but not a queen like you,
In prime of life, for wisdon far renown’d.
On to the feast! I waste my time too long
In frivolous dispute, time, due of right
To pleasure and the gods.

About the text

  • Author: Charles Jennens


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


Similar instrumentation

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