A beautiful cycle for moderately advanced singers.
Voicing: soprano and piano
duration: 10+ minutes
I. I felt a clearing in my mind
I felt a clearing in my mind
as if my brain had split;
I tried to match it, seam by seam,
but could not make them fit.
The thought behind I strove to join
unto the thought before,
but sequence raveled out of reach
like balls upon the floor.
II. Heart, we will forget him
Heart, we will forget him!
You and I, tonight!
You may forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.
When you have done, pray tell me,
that I my thoughts may dim;
haste, lest while you’re lagging,
I may remember him!
III. I shall know why
I shall know why
when time is over
and I refuse to wonder why
Christ shall explain each separate anguish
in that fair schoolroom of the sky.
IV. Hope is the thing with feathers
Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul,
and sings the tune without the words,
and never stops at all.
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
and sore must be the storm
that could abash a little bird
that kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land
and on the strangest sea;
yet never, in extremity,
it asked a crumb of me.
– Emily Dickinson