"Armistice" is a composition for SATB and organ. It is a setting of a poem by the American poet Sophie Jewett. Jewett's poem, Armistice, was written before the Great War (She died in 1908) and is a reminder that an armistice is a cessation, possibly temporary, of hostilities. It is worth reminding ourselves that the Armistice on 11th November 1918 did not mark the end of the war and until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919 there was still the possibility of the resumption of hostilities.
"Armistice" was performed in St Olave's Church in York on November 18th 2018. The recording below was made during the final rehearsal. The organist is Keith Wright and I am directing my choir Stamford Bridge Singers.
The water sings along our keel,
The wind falls to a whispering breath;
I look into your eyes and feel
No fear of life or death;
So near is love, so far away
The losing strife of yesterday.
We watch the swallow skim and dip;
Some magic bids the world be still;
Life stands with finger upon lip;
Love hath his gentle will;
Though hearts have bled, and tears have burned,
The river floweth unconcerned.
We pray the fickle flag of truce
Still float deceitfully and fair;
Our eyes must love its sweet abuse;
This hour we will not care,
Though just beyond to-morrow's gate,
Arrayed and strong, the battle wait.