A Year of Grace (J. Guy Stalnaker)
- (Posted 2018-05-25) CPDL #49842: I. Song of a Second April II. A Summer Wish III. Late September IV. Winter Dusk
- Editor: J. Guy Stalnaker (submitted 2018-05-25). Score information: Letter, 9 pages, 227 kB Copyright: CPDL
- Edition notes:
Title: A Year of Grace
Composer: J. Guy Stalnaker
First published: 2013
Description: Four settings of poems about the seasons by four women poets by J. Guy Stalnaker
Original text and translations
From Second April, Edna St. Vincent Millay
"Song of a Second April"
April this year, not otherwise
Than April of a year ago,
Is full of whispers, full of sighs,
Of dazzling mud and dingy snow;
Hepaticas that pleased you so
Are here again, and butterflies.
There rings a hammering all day,
And shingles lie about the doors;
In orchards near and far away
The grey wood-pecker taps and bores;
The men are merry at their chores,
And children earnest at their play.
The larger streams run still and deep,
Noisy and swift the small brooks run
Among the mullein stalks the sheep
Go up the hillside in the sun,
Pensively,—only you are gone,
You that alone I cared to keep.
From Poems, Christina G. Rossetti, 1906
p. 46 "A Summer Wish"
Live all thy sweet life through
Sweet Rose, dew-sprent,
Drop down thine evening dew
To gather it anew
When day is bright:
I fancy thou wast meant
Chiefly to give delight.
Sing in the silent sky,
Glad soaring bird;
Sing out thy notes on high
To sunbeam straying by
Or passing cloud;
Heedless if thou art heard
Sing thy full song aloud.
O that it were with me
As with the flower;
Blooming on its own tree
For butterfly and bee
Its summer morns:
That I might bloom mine hour
A rose in spite of thorns.
O that my work were done
As birds' that soar
Rejoicing in the sun:
That when my time is run
And daylight too,
I so might rest once more
Cool with refreshing dew.
From Sword Blades and Poppy Seed, Amy Lowell
Tang of fruitage in the air;
Red boughs bursting everywhere;
Shimmering of seeded grass;
Hooded gentians all a'mass.
Warmth of earth, and cloudless wind
Tearing off the husky rind,
Blowing feathered seeds to fall
By the sun-baked, sheltering wall.
Beech trees in a golden haze;
Hardy sumachs all ablaze,
Glowing through the silver birches.
How that pine tree shouts and lurches!
From the sunny door-jamb high,
Swings the shell of a butterfly.
Scrape of insect violins
Through the stubble shrilly dins.
Every blade's a minaret
Where a small muezzin's set,
Loudly calling us to pray
At the miracle of day.
Then the purple-lidded night
Westering comes, her footsteps light
Guided by the radiant boon
Of a sickle-shaped new moon.
From Flame and Shadow, Sara Teasdale
I watch the great clear twilight
Veiling the ice-bowed trees;
Their branches tinkle faintly
With crystal melodies.
The larches bend their silver
Over the hush of snow;
One star is lighted in the west,
Two in the zenith glow.
For a moment I have forgotten
Wars and women who mourn—
I think of the mother who bore me
And thank her that I was born.