24. O dearer than my life

From Belshazzar, HWV 61, Act I

Composer
George Frideric Handel
Key
g minor
Meter
4/4
Tempo
Andante

English text

Nitocris

O dearer than my life, forbear!
Profane not, O my son,
With impious rites Jehovah’s Name.
Remember what His arm has done,
The earth contains not half his fame:
Remember, and his vengeance fear!

Belshazzar

O queen, this hateful theme forbear!
Join not against your son
With captive slaves, your country’s foes.
Remember what our gods have done
To those who durst their pow’r oppose.
Remember, and their vengeance fear.

Nitocris

Alas! Then must I see my son
Headlong to sure destruction run?

Belshazzar

Not to destruction but delight
I fly, and all once more invite
To reign with me this happy night.

Nitocris

O dearer than my life…

About the text

  • Author: Charles Jennens

Instrumentation

  • Violino I
  • Violino II + Viola
  • Nitocris (Soprano)
  • Belshazzar (Tenore)
  • Continuo

Resources

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