ALBERTO: Norma, this morning, along the roadside through the valley, violets bloomed and bird songs filled the air. Then I saw lilacs on your hill. I saw the roses in your garden there. If you look out your window, Norma, you will find your answer everywhere: No rose need ask if sun is sun, No bird need ask if spring is spring. Your heart need only ask your heart if love is love. No sunrise asks if night is done, No garden asks if June is June. No lovers ever ask the moon if its silvery beams are really real or golden dreams. As moon knows moonrise, as sun knows sunrise, That's how your heart knows love. No lilacs ask if dew is dew, nor morning star if sky is sky. You need only ask your heart if that feeling in your heart is like the sunrise, like the moonrise, just ask your heart when love is love. NORMA: I dare not ask if love is love, I dare not ask if dreams come true, my heart can only ask my heart, "What shall I do?" ALBERTO: I dare not hope that you'll love me. NORMA: I dare not tell you I love you. BOTH: If there's a pathway to the stars, what can lovers do to find that pathway to pursue? NORMA: I'll know no moonrise ALBERTO: I'll know no sunrise BOTH: Until my heart knows love. NORMA: I dare not dream a dream of love, ALBERTO: I dare not ask if dreams come true. BOTH: I can only ask my heart since the feeling in my heart is like the sunrise, like the moonrise, I ask my heart if love is you.
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- by (James Mercer) Langston Hughes (1902 - 1967), written 1951 [author's text not yet checked 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 Elie Siegmeister (1909 - 1991), "No rose need ask", from opera The Wizard of Altoona, completed by Leonard Lehrman, 2008, copyright © 2008 by Leonard Lehrman and Miriam Koren [sung text checked 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Leonard Lehrman
This text was added to the website: 2010-01-12
Line count: 49
Word count: 284