These texts are available for setting – contact Euan for permission at firstname.lastname@example.org
There are also longer texts, such as ‘Love’s Pilgrim’, ‘The Tintern Pilgrim,’ ‘Easter Pilgrim’ ‘A Scottish Requiem’ and ‘Requiem for a Musician’ available to view on request.
There are opera texts also available, including a work for young people.
Secular and sacred texts will be posted here. More will be posted in future.
All texts ©Euan Tait 2022. All rights reserved.
Love’s offering Euan Tait
I was crying out. I sat,
my heart in pain,
at Love’s table. Rest.
Love was a gentleness,
a whisper of light,
a breath of music
across a wounded night.
Music healed me,
a dawn incandescent
in my renewed life.
I sang again,
my heart a bird
a remembered child
The table Euan Tait
The wood of the table is a resting force,
the air the pulses of the beating heart
of all the valley’s voices. Ours seem
like a joining music to the centuries’ choir.
I will sit down with you here, all those I love.
We will share wine; the children the waters
of the world. Already my mind is filling
like a cup; the music of the cowbells,
the trees the woodwind of a new score
forming far off, like a needed rain raised
from the surface of the sea. I’m waiting,
gently. You come like quiet creatures,
approaching, and sit with me.
Mercy’s feast Euan Tait
(Communion motet after ‘O sacrum convivium’)
Fear will say: I am not welcome here.
The cry of me is too loud, the wrong
unbreakable, repeated, not yet
repented at the root of me. At least
begin to forgive me, and let me go.
Love answers: living water heals
wounds as deep as these, bread
your roar of hunger. Look at me!
Wound cries to wound. In me
your hurt bleeds: sit with me. Eat.
We lit a fire Euan Tait
We lit a fire on a late summer night,
And, far apart, sang through the darkness.
We did not know if this heart’s light
Was joy in the warm air, or warning.
The stillness, and the cicadas
Sounding, as loud to the heart
As the music we could not play,
The violin gathering dust on a shelf.
The bow in my imagination. Tuning
The string again. And oh my God,
My Te Deum God, we all began to sing!
This Child of mercy Euan Tait
When they saw Him
at last, they found their voice;
exhausted with travelling,
they sang like fire:
welcome now, welcome:
long, long this waiting.
Light drew the song,
cry and joy,
weeping and freedom
from the depths
where they’d hid,
where they’d stayed silent:
welcome, beloved child,
welcome now, beloved child.
How love for Him
changed their hearts
from doors shut fast
into cradle and stretcher
for their broken brother,
their wounded sister:
welcome, cradled child
welcome now, beloved child.
How one frail as this,
arms as frail as twigs,
could become mercy,
the tree of the world
welcome, frail child
welcome now, beloved child.
Song for a musician
You hear it too, musician, the waterdrop
Falling from the leaf, crowning and seeding
A river, the life of a composer, the music
Flowing as you knew it would,
A child, wandering, listening.
A Musician’s Christmas Euan Tait
He is a pure music; he is the sound
of light’s slow unfolding, the first
note a human throat makes,
the first melody, a slow cry
of hunger, of thirst, of fear
that we are not there.
And music, music answers,
our singing is the cradle
that holds Him, our chorus
the wide webbed manger
that holds Him within
all love we have forged,
our year’s pilgrimage.
We stand before Him, held
aloft like violin, in the beauty
of Mary’s watching, of Joseph’s
hidden healing tears, of the cry
he made, answered in this Child,
the very first line of all melody.
We stand before the manger
and sing, making the music
most natural to us, and know
that forgiveness is new to us
and is sweeping in, that
our music is accepted,
most beautiful, its voice
the sound of this child,
of this miracle Lord.
Love of water
Dawn over the river changes us,
our seastorm, pilgrim hearts heat
as sudden flames
light up the water, and the air
firecrackers into dance after
the pulsing darkness,
the swans rise up swiftly from the water
with a cacophony of fighting wings
all around us,
our skins flash with fresh energies,
with a power that is our
of love we’d utterly forgotten.
I shall see you afresh, your eyes
like these waters
racing this dawn, alive
with your spirit’s music,
and in laughter
my heart sings birdsong yes!
Never a sound so beautiful:
Rainfall through the deep
Of the stillness, the darkness,
Like a refreshing caress
The skin relearns, gives back
At a time of pain. Rain,
Like an old friend, forgotten,
Returning laden with light.
Imagine the port you want to leave.
The drum on the ear, and the rhythm
Of your blood-beat displaced. You have
To go, to move forward, even though
The forward is the ocean and worse
Risk of overwhelm, this barque
is the body and mere beauty
of flesh that tore in in the Love
whose hands will carry you there.
Imagine setting out. The morning aches
With beauty, and the coast collapses
Behind you. You can hear it, a tumble
Of houses you used to live by, bones
Of animals so ancient they slept
Where they died. The sea is as soft
As a whisper. As a child you caught
Little fish in your fingers, they wriggled
And danced like infancy in the hand
Of God. The broken rope, invisible,
Trails in the water from your soul.
All is tenderness. It is so hard to leave.
Imagine the mid-ocean storm. Not hours
But days, then months. The only endurance
Possible, is when you accept
It’s not going to end, survival is each other,
Torn ligaments, and keeping the ship
Together as it heaves and opens
And your skin burns from salt and cold
And constant damp. This is worse
Than the cry in sleep. But you won’t
turn back. Even the pain remembers
why you left: you were no longer there.
The imagined storm still going
On the other side, body and boat,
Air and rock, the cross-beam cry.
The arrival is no glory: the ship
breaks like an egg on the coast,
you tumble out and scramble
up onto the new found, and wait.
Eventually the storm dies around you.
In the soft breath of the breeze
That follows, an utter, easily mistaken
Love, that will not leave this people
Until the stranger that is already there
Is met, and was always you, always
What you wanted, pilgrim and friend,
New shore, and untilled field, unbuilt house.