Time and a Summer's Day
An a cappella setting for mixed chorus of two sonnets by William Shakespeare.

Duration: 6'
Difficulty: 4/5

Click here to view score.
Sonnet 18
William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And ev’ry fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimmed:
Ah But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st.
     So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
     So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Sonnet 19
William Shakespeare

Devouring time, blunt thou the lion’s paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws,
And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleet’st
And do whate’er thou wilt, swift-footed time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime,
O carve not with thy hours my love’s fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen.
Him in thy course untainted do allow,
For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men.
     Yet do thy worst, old time; despite thy wrong,
     My love shall in my verse ever live young.
Commission & Performance History
Time and a Summer’s Day was composed for Grammy Award-winning Charles Bruffy and the Phoenix Bach Choir (now the Phoenix Chorale) who premiered the work on 13 May 2006 at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Phoenix, AZ.