Often beneath the wave, wide from this ledge The dice of drowned men’s bones he saw bequeath An embassy. Their numbers as he watched, Beat on the dusty shore and were obscured. And wrecks passed without sound of bells, The calyx of death’s bounty giving back A scattered chapter, livid hieroglyph, The portent wound in corridors of shells. Then in the circuit calm of one vast coil, Its lashings charmed and malice reconciled, Frosted eyes there were that lifted altars; And silent answers crept across the stars. Compass, quadrant and sextant contrive No farther tides ... High in the azure steeps Monody shall not wake the mariner. This fabulous shadow only the sea keeps.
4 Songs to Poems by Hart Crane
by Stanley Grill (b. 1953)
1. At Melville’s Tomb  [sung text checked 1 time]
- by (Harold) Hart Crane (1899 - 1932), "At Melville’s Tomb" [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
2. Interior  [sung text checked 1 time]
It sheds a shy solemnity, This lamp in our poor room. O grey and gold amenity, -- Silence and gentle gloom! Wide from the world, a stolen hour We claim, and none may know How love blooms like a tardy flower Here in the day's after-glow. And even should the world break in With jealous threat and guile, The world, at last, must bow and win Our pity and a smile.
3. Exile  [sung text checked 1 time]
My hands have not touched pleasure since your hands, -- No, -- nor my lips freed laughter since 'farewell', And with the day, distance again expands Voiceless between us, as an uncoiled shell. Yet, love endures, though starving and alone. A dove's wings clung about my heart each night With surging gentleness, and the blue stone Set in the tryst-ring has but worn more bright.
4. A Name for All  [sung text checked 1 time]
Moonmoth and grasshopper that flee our page And still wing on, untarnished of the name We pinion to your bodies to assuage Our envy of your freedom—we must maim Because we are usurpers, and chagrined— And take the wing and scar it in the hand. Names we have, even, to clap on the wind; But we must die, as you, to understand. I dreamed that all men dropped their names, and sang As only they can praise, who build their days With fin and hoof, with wing and sweetened fang Struck free and holy in one Name always.