A Year of Grace (J. Guy Stalnaker)

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  • (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:

General Information

Title: A Year of Grace
Composer: J. Guy Stalnaker
Lyricist:

Number of voices: 6vv   Voicing: SATB/SSATBB
Genre: Secular

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 2013

Description: Four settings of poems about the seasons by four women poets by J. Guy Stalnaker

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text


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
[47]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

"Late September"

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

"Winter Dusk"

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.