The White Election - A Song Cycle for soprano and piano on 32 poems of Emily Dickinson, Part 3 : Almost Peace

Song Cycle by Gordon Getty (b. 1933)

Word count: 0

17. My first well day, since many ill [sung text checked 1 time]

My first well day, since many ill,
I asked to go abroad
And take the sunshine in my hands,
And see the things in pod
 
A 'blossom just when I went in,
To take my chance with pain,
Uncertain if myself or he
Should prove the strongest one.
 
The summer deepened while we strove.
She put some flowers away,
And redder cheeked ones in their stead,
A fond, illusive way.
 
To cheat herself it seemed she tried,
As if before a child
To fade.  Tomorrow rainbows held,
The sepulcher could hide.
 
She dealt a fashion to the nut,
She tied the hoods to seeds.
She dropped bright scraps of tint about,
And left Brazilian threads
 
On every shoulder that she met,
Then both her hands of haze
Put up, to hide her parting grace
From our unfitted eyes.
 
My loss by sickness, was it loss,
Or that ethereal gain
One earns by measuring the grave,
Then measuring the sun?

Authorship

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Barbara Miller , Bertram Kottmann

18. It ceased to hurt me [sung text checked 1 time]

It ceased to hurt me, though so slow
I could not feel the anguish go,
But only knew by looking back
That something had benumbed the track.
 
Nor when it altered I could say,
For I had worn it every day
As constant as the childish frock
I hung upon the peg at night,
 
But not the grief.  That nestled close
As needles ladies softly press
To cushions' cheeks to keep their place.
 
Nor what console it I could trace,
Except whereas 'twas wilderness,
It's better, almost peace.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

19. I like to see it lap the miles [sung text checked 1 time]

I like to see it lap the miles,
And lick the valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at tanks;
And then, prodigious, step

Around a pile of mountains,
And, supercilious, peer
In shanties by the sides of roads;
And then a quarry pare

To fit its [sides]1, and crawl between,
Complaining all the while
In horrid, hooting stanza;
Then chase itself down hill

And neigh like Boanerges;
Then, punctual as a star,
Stop - docile and omnipotent -
At its own stable door.

Authorship

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Getty, Perle: "ribs"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

20. Split the lark and you'll find the music [sung text checked 1 time]

Split the lark and you'll find the music,
Bulb after bulb, in silver rolled,
Scantily dealt to the summer morning,
Saved for your ear when lutes be old.

Loose the flood, you shall find it patent,
Gush after gush, reserved for you;
Scarlet experiment! sceptic Thomas,
Now, do you doubt that your bird was true?

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

21. The crickets sang [sung text checked 1 time]

The Crickets sang
And set the Sun
And Workmen finished one by one
Their Seam the Day upon.

The low Grass loaded with the Dew
The Twilight stood, as Strangers do
With Hat in Hand, polite and new
To stay as if, or go.

A Vastness, as a Neighbor, came,
A Wisdom, without Face, or Name,
A Peace, as Hemispheres at Home
And so the Night became.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

22. After a hundred years [sung text checked 1 time]

After a hundred years
Nobody knows the place,
Agony that enacted there
Motionless as peace.
 
Weeds triumphant ranged;
Strangers strolled and spelled
At the lone orthography
Of the elder dead.
 
Winds of summer fields
Recollect the way,
Instinct picking up the key
Dropped by memory.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

23. The clouds their backs together laid [sung text checked 1 time]

The clouds their backs together laid,
The north begun to push,
The forests galloped till they fell,
The lightning played like mice.
 
The thunder crumbled like a stuff.
How good to be in tombs,
Where nature's temper cannot reachm,
Nor missile ever comes.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

24. I shall not murmur if at last [sung text checked 1 time]

I shall not murmur if at last
The ones I loved below
Permission have to understand
For what I shunned them so.
Divulging it would rest my heart,
But it would ravage theirs.
Why, Katie, treason has a voice,
But mine dispels in tears.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller