Tygers of Wrath


"Tygers of Wrath" is the second song in Ned Rorem's song cycle Aftermath, written for medium voice, violin, cello, and piano. The text of "Tygers of Wrath" is a compilation of texts from four writers (see below).

Tygers of Wrath
by Various Authors

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.*
There is no spark of reason in the world
And all is raked in ashy heaps of beastliness.**
We for a certainty are not the first
Have sat in taverns while the tempest hurled
Their hopeful plans to emptiness, and cursed
Whatever brute and blackguard made the world.***
This is not what man hates,
Yet he can curse but this.
Harsh Gods and hostile Fates
And dreams: this only is.****

*--William Blake (1757-1827) from Proverbs of Hell

**--John Marston (1576-1632) from The Malcontent

***--A. E. Housman (1859-1936) from The Chestnut Casts His Flambeaux

****--Mathew Arnold (1822-1888) from Empedocles on Etna

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