… HALF THE SEED OF EUROPE, ONE BY ONE [WILFRID OWEN / BENJAMIN BRITTEN]

So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,

And took the fire with him, and a knife.

And as they sojourned both of them together,

Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,

[…]

Behold the preparations, fire and iron,

But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?

Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,

And builded parapets and trenched there,

And streched forth the knife to slay his son.

When lo! and angel called him out of heaven,

Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,

Neither do anything to him. Behold,

A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;

Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.

But the old man would not so,

but slew his son, –

And half the seed of Europe, one by one.

[…]

Wilfrid Owen, Missa pro Defunctis

Benjamin Britten, War Requiem, III Offertorium

Heather Harper, Soprano – Philip Langridge, Tenor

John Shirley-Quirk, Bass-Baritone

London Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra,

Richard Hickox, Conductor,

Choristers of St Paul’s Cathedral,

John Scott, Director

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