*Sparkling and Bright (new material)

(By Charles Fenno Hoffman, and sung by Henry Sibley in the 1850s.)

Recording by RW: 

Heritage Songbook Text:

Sparkling and bright, in its liquid light
Is the water in our glasses.
‘Twill give you health, ’twill give you wealth,
Ye lads and rosy lasses.

Chorus:
Oh, then resign our ruby wine,
Each smiling son and daughter,
There’s nothing so good for the youthful blood,
Or sweet as the sparkling water.
Oh, then resign our ruby wine,
Each smiling son and daughter,
There’s nothing so good for the youthful blood,
Or sweet as the sparkling water.

Better than gold is the water cold,
From the crystal fountain flowing,
A calm delight both day and night,
To happy homes bestowing.

Hoffman’s original text:

Engraving of American poet Charles Fenno Hoffman.

Engraving of American poet Charles Fenno Hoffman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sparkling and bright in liquid light
Does the wine our goblets gleam in,
With hue as red as rosy bed
Which a bee would choose to dream in.
Then fill to-night with hearts as light,
To loves as gay and fleeting
As bubbles that swim on the beaker’s brim,
And break on the lips while meeting.

O! if Mirth might arrest the flight
Of Time through Life’s dominions,
We here awhile would now beguile
The graybeard of his pinions,
To drink to-night with hearts as light,
To loves as gay and fleeting
As bubbles that swim on the beaker’s brim,
And break on the lips while meeting.

But since delight can’t tempt the wight,
Nor fond regret delay him,
Nor Love himself can hold the elf,
Nor sober Friendship stay him,
We’ll drink to-night with hearts as light,
To loves as gay and fleeting
As bubbles that swim on the beaker’s brim,
And break on the lips while meeting.

2 thoughts on “*Sparkling and Bright (new material)

    1. RBW Post author

      Unfortunately, after most of a decade, I’ve forgotten how to sing the song. :-) I’m surprised, given how popular it was at the time, that there don’t seem to be any modern recordings. It was used as a basis for an amazing number of college parodies. All the following references are from Henry Randall Waite, Carmina Collegensia: A Complete Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges, first edition 1868, expanded edition, Oliver Ditson, 1876, part 1:
      Gather Ye Smiles (“Gather ye smiles from the ocean isles, Warm hearts from river and fountain”) (by F. M. Finch, [class of 18]49) (Waite, p. 47)
      Smoking Song (“Floating away like the fountains’ spray, Or the snow-white plume of a maiden”) (by F. M. Finch, [class of 18]49) (Waite, p. 50)
      Smoking Song (“With grateful twirl our smoke wreaths curl, As mist from the water-fall given”) (Waite, p. 79)
      A Vesper (“When the evening falls on Brunonia’s walls, As the light of day is fleeting”) (Waite, p. 95)
      Chant Our Rhyme (“Peacefully rest, ‘neath the mountain’s crest, In thy sheltered vale reclining”) (by George L. Raymond, [class of 18]62) (Waite, p. 114)
      Bacchanalian (“Oh, bright is the gleam of the silv’ry stream, As it leaps from its native mountain”) (by M. W. Fuller, [class of 18]53) (Waite, p. 124)
      Mechanics (“To the solemn tricks of Mechanics We bid farewell forever”) (Waite, p. 133)
      Logic (“We’ll poll no more for the hidden lore Within our Logic’s pages”) (Waite, p. 133)
      Smoking Song (“Sorrow and strife leave the student’s life When his pipe is kindled brightly”) (by Professor T. S. Doolittle, D.D., [class of 18]59) (Waite, p. 144)
      And these are from part 2:
      Welcome to the Alumni (“Come, friendly throng, and join our song, We welcome every brother”) (by A. T. Pierson [class of 18]57) (Waite, p. 19)
      Parting Song (“The dewy light of the morning bright, The blush of the summer sunrise”) (Waite, p. 28)
      Conflagratio Conicorum (“Gather here by the dusky bier, — Let the requiem deeply roll”) (Waite, p. 35)
      Evening Hours (“The twilight gaze, with its gentle rays, O’er Trinity’s campus stealing”) (Waite, p. 36)
      Sleighing Song (“Gliding along like a fairy song, Or the mist at early dawning”) (by C. H. Sweetser, [class of 18]62) (Waite, p. 42)
      We Gather Here (“We gather here with festive cheer, To drown all care and sorrow”) (by W. Irving Allen, [class of 18]62) (Waite, p. 45)
      Joyous and Free (“Joyous and free our hearts shall be, At the festal board regaling”) (by E. P. Dyer, Jr., [class of 18]61) (Waite, p. 45)
      Come, Gather Near (“Come, gather near, each classmate here, Fond memories will gather”) (Waite, p. 52)
      While We Gather Here (“While we gather here, with song nd cheer, Our thoughts in union blending”) (by George O. Whitney, [class of 18]69) (Waite, p. 82)
      Hair-belles (“Here’s to the maids with borrowed braids, And here’s to the girls with curls, sir”) (Waite, p. 96)
      The following references are from Henry Randall Waite, _Carmina Collegensia: A Complete Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges_ first edition 1868, expanded edition, Oliver Ditson, 1876, part 3:
      Boat Song (“Lightly afloat swims our gallant bark”) (Waite, p. 11)

      Reply

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