Handel – I rage, I melt, I burn (O ruddier than the cherry)

Song Information


  • Recit: I rage, I melt, I burn
  • Aria: O ruddier than the cherry
  • sung by Polyphemus (Bass) in Acis and Galatea

Music: George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Text: libretto by John Gay, Alexander Pope, and John Hughes.

Sheet Music

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Song Text

I rage, I rage, I melt, I burn! The feeble god has stabbed me to the heart. Thou trusty pine, prop of my god-like steps, I lay thee by! Bring me a hundred reeds of decent growth, to make a pipe for my capacious mouth; in soft enchanting accents let me breathe sweet Galatea’s beauty, and my love.

O ruddier than the cherry,
O sweeter than the berry,
O nymph more bright than moonshine night,
Like kidlings blithe and merry!

Ripe as the melting cluster,
No lily has such lustre;
Yet hard to tame as raging flame,
And fierce as storms that bluster!