How Beautiful They Are

“How beautiful they are, the lordly ones
Who dwell in the hills
In the hollow hills.
They have faces like flowers
And their breath is wind that stirs amid the grasses
Filled with white clover.
Their limbs are more white than shafts of moonshine.
They are more fleet than the March wind.
They laugh and are glad and are terrible:
When their lances shake, every green reed quivers.
How beautiful they are
How beautiful the lordly ones
In the hollow hills.”
— Fiona Macleod


23 thoughts on “How Beautiful They Are

  1. This poem was set to music, and was sung by a close friend back in the 40s.
    Anyone know the music?
    Alan T.

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  3. I think I may have learnt this song at school many years ago. I don’t know why I started singing the tune and a few words this morning. Is it possible to find a version of the tune anywhere? Please. The comments are so interesting.

  4. In the late 40s/early50s a choir sang this song regularly on Children’s Hour before the BBC 6pm news.I loved it then and it seemed so mysterious. The BBC may have the recording still. More recently the song was recorded on CD on the soundtrack of the film ‘Paradise Road’ ~ an account of women held as Japanese POWs. They put together music they knew and sang them as choir pieces. This the first time I’ve heard it since childhood and it was a delight.

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