Mulligan's words to the old woman (“Ask nothing more of me, sweet. . .”) and the “tender chant” that follows (“Heart of my heart . . .") quote the first four lines of a short poem by Swinburne. The Oblation (1871) is sung by a man who has “love and no more.” It advances this one flaccid theme and no more.

JH 2011

Dante Gabriel Rossetti's portrait of Algernon Swinburne. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Cover of sheet music for Peter Thompson's setting of The Oblation (2010). Source: www.fandmusic.com.