Or say, what right have I

From Theodora, HWV 68, Part II, Scene V

George Frideric Handel
A major → c minor
30 measures

Original English text

Modernized English text



— Or say, what Right have I
Or say, what right have I
To take, what juſt Reflection bids confeſs
To take, what just reflection bids confess
Not at your own Diſposal? — Think it too
Not at your own disposal? Think it too
No leſs a Crime, if thus inflexible
No less a crime, if thus inflexible
Your Safety you refuſe. — Time forbids more:
Your safety you refuse. Time forbids more:
Strait then reſolve to gain your Liberty,
Straight then resolve to gain your liberty,
Preſerve your Honour, and ſecure your Life.
Preserve your honour, and secure your life.



Ah! what is life, or liberty to me,
Ah! what is Life, or Liberty to me,
That Didymus must purchase with his own?
That Didymus muſt purchaſe with his own?


Fear not for me. The Pow’r that led me hither


Will guard me hence; if not, his will be done.
Fear not for me. The Pow’r that led me hither


Will guard me hence; if not, his Will be done.
Yes, kind deliverer, I will trust that Pow’r
To hear my prayer for thee, so lately heard


For Theodora, who had ne’er exposed
Yes, kind Deliverer, I will truſt that Pow’r
Her friend, to shun a danger, that concern’d
To hear my Pray’r for Thee, ſo lately heard
Only her life. Farewell, thou gen’rous youth.
For Theodora, who had ne’er exposed


Her Friend, to ſhun a Danger, that concern’d
Farewell, thou mirror of the virgin state.
Only her Life. — Farewel, thou gen’rous Youth.

Didymus Farewel, thou Mirror of the Virgin State.


About the text

  • Author: Thomas Morell


  • Theodora (Soprano)
  • Didymus (Alto)
  • Continuo



May Robertson

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