(Click on title for lyrics/audio)
For tenor with piano accompaniment
Level: medium, 11’26”
This song cycle is based upon poems of various writers. All of the poetry addresses various aspects of love, and the sadness in leaving or losing that which we love: the ecstatic love of a man for a woman (Browning), the loss of a woman’s love (Blake), the sadness in departing from one’s beloved country and family (Byron), and the concept of departing from the life that we love (Tennyson). This reflective song cycle ponders the meaning and mystery of a most important element in human life: love.
A Pearl, A Girl
A simple ring with a single stone,
To the vulgar eye no stone of price:
Whisper the right word, that alone—
Forth starts a spright, like fire from ice,
And lo, you are Lord (says an Eastern scroll)
Of heav’n and earth, Lord whole and sole
Through the pow’r in a pearl.
A woman (’tis I this time that say)
With little the world counts worthy praise
Utter the true word—out and away
Escapes her soul: I am wrapt in blaze,
Creation’s Lord, of heaven and earth
Lord whole and sole—by a minute’s birth—
Through the love in a girl!
Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind doth move
I told my love,
I told her all my heart,
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears,
Ah! she did depart!
Soon after she was gone from me,
A traveller came by,
He took her with a sigh.
Childe Harold’s Farewell To England
My native shore
Fades o’er the waters blue;
The night-winds sigh, the breakers roar,
And shrieks the wild seamew.
Yon sun that sets upon the sea,
We follow in his flight;
Farewell awhile to him and thee,
My native land–
A few short hours and he will rise
To give the morrow birth;
And I shall hail the main and skies,
But not my mother earth.
Deserted is my own good hall,
Its hearth is desolate;
Wild weeds are gathering on the wall;
My dog howls at the gate.
Come hither, my little page!
Why does thou weep and wail?
Or dost thou dread the billow’s rage,
Or tremble at the gale?
But dash the teardrop from thine eye;
Our ship is swift and strong;
Our fleetest falcon scarce can fly
More merrily along.
“Let winds be shrill, let waves roll high,
I fear not wave nor wind:
Yet marvel not, Sir Childe, that I
Am sorrowful in mind;
For I have from my father gone,
A mother whom I love,
And have no friends, save these alone,
But thee–and One above.”
My father blest me fervently,
Yet did not much complain;
But sorely will my mother sigh
Till I come back again.”
Enough, enough my little lad!
Such tears become thine eye;
If I thy guileless bosom had,
Mine own would not be dry.
Crossing The Bar
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.