George Herbert's poem "Redemption" (published in 1633), set for baritone accompanied by piano.
I wanted a short recitative setting of this poem for an offertory. I took inspiration (and some phrases) from Don Freund's setting of the poem (with his permission, for which I am deeply grateful).
I paraphrased George Herbert's poem "Redemption" to replace some non-inclusive language that distracted from the poem's meaning.
As long-time tenant to a wealthy Lord,
not thriving, I resolvèd to be bold
and make suit to the Owner to afford
a new, reduced-rent lease, and cancel th'old.
At Heaven’s manor, thus, my Lord I sought:
They told me that my Lord was lately gone
about some land on Earth, so dearly bought
quite long ago, to take possession.
Returning, knowing of my Lord's great birth,
I searched accordingly in great resorts;
in cities, theaters, gardens, parks, and courts:
At length, I heard a ragged noise and mirth
of thieves and murd'rers: there my Lord I spied,
who said, "Your suit is granted," and then died.