Good and Clever - (2007)
for medium voice and piano
If all the good people were clever,
And all clever
people were good,
The world would be nicer than ever
We thought that it possibly could.
But somehow 'tis seldom or never
The two hit it off as they should,
The good are so harsh to the clever,
The clever, so rude to the good!
So friends, let it be our endeavour
To make each by each understood;
For few can be good, like the clever,
Or clever, so well as the good.
[ 3 pages, circa 1' 50" ]
St. Hugh's Hall Crest, Oxford
Dame Elizabeth Wordsworth (1840-1932) was the great-niece of the poet
William Wordsworth. She was the Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford,
from 1878-1909, when she founded St. Hugh's Hall, a college for poor female
undergraduates, on Norham Gardens in North Oxford. This was later
established as St Hugh's College, Oxford, which is today the largest college
in Oxford University.
Elizabeth Wordsworth had a strong sense of the historical perspective in
which her new foundation would take its place. Using money left to her by
her father, a bishop of Lincoln, she named St. Hugh's after both her father
and St. Hugh of Avalon, who was canonized in 1220, and in whose diocese
Oxford had been. Elizabeth Wordsworth was a champion of the cause of women's
education, and her foundation was intended to enable poorer women to gain an
This cheerful setting of her humorous text is built on small, diatonic
pianistic pyramids developing into the underlying gestures which accompany
the vocal line. In a day and age when discourteous civil exchanges and rude
ad hominem attacks populate even academic circles, the sentiment of this
short poem merits serious thought as well as pleasant remembrance of its
The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial
performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement
with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.
Good and Clever