The first jasmines

"The first jasmines" is the second song from Gardner Read's Nocturnal visions, op. 145 song cycle and sets Rabindranath Tagore's text to music.

Date: 1985Composer: Gardner ReadText: Rabindranath TagoreSong Collection: Nocturnal visions, op. 145

Print vitals & song text


“The first Jasmines”

by Rabindranath Tagore


Ah, these jasmines, these white jasmines! 

I seem to remember the first day when I filled my hands 

with these jasmines, these white jasmines. 

I have loved the sunlight, the sky and the green earth; 

I have heard the liquid murmur of the river 

through the darkness of midnight; 

Autumn sunsets have come to me 

at the bend of the road in the lonely waste 

like a bride raising her veil to accept her lover. 

Yet my memory is still sweet with the first white jasmines 

that I held in my hand when I was a child. 

Many a glad day has come in my life,

 and I have laughed with merry makers on festival nights. 

On grey mornings of rain I have crooned many an idle song. 

I have worn ’round my neck the evening wreath of bakulas 

woven by the hand of love. 

Yet my heart is still sweet with the memory of the first 

fresh jasmines that filled my hands when I was a child.


Gardner Read: The Art of Song

(William Blake, Frances Frost, James Joyce, Gardner Read, Henry Russell, Rabindranath Tagore and Jean Starr Untermeyer)


Sheet Music

Nocturnal visions, op. 145

Composer(s): Gardner Read

Song(s): Night of all nights, The First jasmines, & I hear an army

Voice Type: Baritone

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