I Oh chimes set high on the sunny tower Ring on, ring on unendingly, Make all the hours a single hour, For when the dusk begins to flower, The man I love will come to me! ... But no, go slowly as you will, I should not bid you hasten so, For while I wait for love to come, Some other girl is standing dumb, Fearing her love will go. II Oh white steam over the roofs, blow high! Oh chimes in the tower ring clear and free! Oh sun awake in the covered sky, For the man I love, loves me I . . . Oh drifting steam disperse and die, Oh tower stand shrouded toward the south, -- Fate heard afar my happy cry, And laid her finger on my mouth. III The dusk was blue with blowing mist, The lights were spangles in a veil, And from the clamor far below Floated faint music like a wail. It voiced what I shall never speak, My heart was breaking all night long, But when the dawn was hard and gray, My tears distilled into a song. IV I said, "I have shut my heart As one shuts an open door, That Love may starve therein And trouble me no more." But over the roofs there came The wet new wind of May, And a tune blew up from the curb Where the street-pianos play. My room was white with the sun And Love cried out in me, "I am strong, I will break your heart Unless you set me free."
- by Sara Teasdale (1884 - 1933), "Over the roofs", appears in Rivers to the Sea, first published 1915 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Kirke Mechem (b. 1925), "Over the roofs", published 1965 [SSAATTBB chorus a cappella], from The Winds of May, no. 3, G. Schirmer [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]