Elias Parish Alvars

Elias Parish Alvars

Elias Parish Alvars

Boxing Day and the occasion of the annual “Walk in the sea” to raise money for the RNLI – remembered last year through the post “We Honour Them“.

Today’s post though continues the theme of people and, in particular, the links with music.  There have been a few posts already about folk songs, shanties, poems in music but today is about the harp.

I found the following poem in one of the pamphlets of the Teignmouth Heritage Centre.

Elias Parish Alvars was a gifted harpist, born in Teignmouth in 1808. To pursue his musical career he moved to Austria. Hector Berlioz described him as “prodigious” and “the Lizst of the harp”. Follow the link after the poem for more about his life.

He died young, at the age of 41, and this poem was written on his death by an old and sincere friend, noted in the pamphlet as “Warwick”.

Parish Alvars

O’er Mendelssohn the cypress tree
Was scarcely planted near
Ere weeping willows bend, we see,
To shadow Alvars’ bier

Spirits of air, the host on high
Will hail ye with delight.
Genius like yours can never die,
Twin spirits now of light.

Bards of Ossian, tune your lay
With silver harps so sweet.
To charm the bard of our day
His kindred souls to meet.

He lives again, whose works remain,
Displaying music’s art:
And he will in that region reign
The memory of the heart.

England may proudly boast his birth,
Till into manhood grown;
The Germans knowing well his worth,
had claimed him as their own.

Want to know more? Check out:

Elias Parish Alvars …..


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