Moore, Christopher: Christ on the Mount of Olives

Christ on the Mount of Olives (2018)

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in him will I trust.

When the Lord raised his wasted arms to heaven,
Beneath the sacred trees, as poets do,
Long lost in mute afflictions, and
Knowing himself betrayed by thankless friends:
He turned to those below attending him,
Who, numb, adrift in the slumber of beasts
Dreamed themselves sages, prophets, kings…

He shall cover thee with his feathers and under his wings shalt thou trust, thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night.
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath know my name.

And began to cry: ‘No, God does not exist!’
They slept on. ‘Friends, have you learnt the news?
Against the eternal vault I leant my brow;
I am bloodied, broken, have borne endless days!
Brothers I deceived you: Abyss! Abyss! Abyss!
God is absent from the altar, where I am sacrifice…
There is no God! God is no more!’ And still they slept!

Surely he shall deliver me from the snare of the fowler;
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder, the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him, and honour him.
He is my refuge and my fortress: in him will I trust.
With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.

Words: from ‘Christ on the Mount of Olives’,
Gérard de Nerval (1808–55) trans. Will Stone;
Psalm 91, vv. 1–4, 13–16
Music: Christopher Moore (b. 1997), Choral Scholar