John Raphael Aspinwall

God is love and you are his object

The work paraphrases lines from Centuries of Meditations (I,52).

God is love and you are his object. You are created to be his love, and he is yours. He is happy in you when you are happy, as parents in their children. He is afflicted in your afflictions and whomsoever touches you, touches the apple of his eye. God is love and you are his object. God is love. He is yours.


The work was given its first performance at All Saints church (Hereford) by the Hereford Cathedral Voluntary Choir, directed by Peter Dyke, on June 10th 2001, as part of the annual Traherne festival. Further festival performances by the Voluntary Choir and Peter Dyke have been given at Belmont Abbey (June 16th, 2002) and Coningsby Hospital Chapel (May 15th, 2005).

A further performance of the work was given by the Bach Cantata on 18th March, 2006 at St Stephen’s, Lansdown.

Published: 2000

As fragrant myrrh

A setting for SATB of an untitled poem found in Philip Traherne’s notebook.

As fragrant Mirrhe within the bosom hid
sents more delicious then before it did
And yet receives no sweetness from that brest
That proves the sweeter for so sweet a guest.
Even so the favour of my dearest spouse
thus priz’d and placed in my heart, endows
my ardent soul with sweetness and inspires
with heavenly Ravishment my rapt desires.

What greater Joy can blesse my soul then this,
that my Beloveds mine and I am his!
Our soules are knitt the world cannot untwine
the joyfull union of his heart and mine.
in him I live, in him my soules possest
with heavenly solace and eternal rest.
Heaven only Knowes the blisse my soule enjoys
Fond Earths too dull to apprehend such joyes.

Published: 2006