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Jim Clark: Music

My True-Love

(Jim Clark)
November 22, 2010
Words: Byron Herbert Reece/Music: Jim Clark

Some have given this poem an explicitly Christian reading; I tend to see it as a more general meditation on love and betrayal, which were certainly elements of Jesus Christ's story, too.  It has a sort of "renaissance" feel to me, hence the minor key and the recorders.

My True-Love



Blacker than night is my True-Love’s hair,

My True-Love’s brow is bonny;

My True-Love’s lips are ruby and fair

And touched with the taste of honey.


Whiter than milk is my True-Love’s throat

That soars like a marble column

And bears a bell of marvelous note

With accents airy and solemn.


Tender and strong are my True-Love’s hands,

Their strength by mercy made dearer;

Each five of fingers are fiercer than brands

And total a ten of terror.


Because it is dearer to breathe than breath

And low and more utter than loathing,

My love for my True-Love is darker than death

And whiter than Christ’s own clothing.


I taste of the Wine from my True-Love’s lips,

The Bread is my True-Love’s body;

And the vinegar waits at my fingertips,

And the Cross stands hewn and ready.