Handel and The Messiah

Handel and The Messiah
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GEORGE FREDERICK HANDEL

The street lamps’ warm and mellow glow,
Flash in water down below.
Lights grow dim in veils of mist;
Wet streets gleam … But wait! What’s this?

A wretched figure, dimly seen,
Limping with ungainly stride,
Wends its way, its toilsome way,
Through streets of London’s riverside.

The complex rigging of the ships
Grows indistinct in skirts of rain;
A feeble glow, a dockside inn,
Invites relief from cold and pain.

But he stumbles on his tear‑streaked way,
Shunning the hostile streets of day.

BRUCE RILEY

THE YEAR OF OUR ALMIGHTY ONE WAS 1741. Although the elderly gentleman’s body was bent with unjust burdens, his soul soared on the wings of stately music, which, because of his palsied hand, seemed destined to remain imprisoned within the confines of his mind. Buoyed by melodies only he could hear, he continued on his night time wanderings.

His name was George Fredrick Handel, an English subject, who spoke with a German accent. He had descended from the pinnacle of glory and acclaim to this valley of night shadows haunted by malevolent spirits. He, whose music would transport his audiences to realms of angelic glory, could only glimpse his Saviour through the bars of an earthly hell.