Composed as a wedding present for Giles Swayne’s son Orlando and Delia Peel, and first performed at their marriage ceremony in All Saints Church, Barton Turf, Norfolk on June 18th 2005. The mezzo soprano was Delia Peel’s sister, Ruth, and the string quartet was the Solstice Quartet (Jamie Campbell and Ellie Fagg (violins), Chris Brown (viola) and Gregor Riddell (cello).
I carry your heart:
To have and to hold from this day forward,
For better for worse,
For richer for poorer,
In sickness and in health –
I dread no disaster,
I fear no fate.
I carry your heart,
To love and to cherish till death us do part:
To love you even when you are unlovable,
To support you even when you are unbearable,
And to agree with you whenever humanly possible.
Your heart and my heart are one heart
That beats for us both.
If I am angry with you,
I shall not let the sun go down upon my wrath;
If I am tempted to murder you,
I shall never succumb to temptation;
And thereto I plight thee, thereto I give thee my troth.
With this ring I thee wed,
With my body I thee worship,
With all my love I thee endow.
Here is the secret, here is the root,
Here is the bud of the tree
Which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide.
Here, above all, is the wonder that holds the stars apart:
I carry your heart in mine.