New York Sketches: On Love’s Fragility

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Poetry by Sara Teasdale
Mezzo-soprano and piano

 

(See full song text below)

 

Image: DSC_0372 by Alec Perkins licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

 

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Poetry by Sara Teasdale

 

The Metropolitan Tower

We walked together in the dusk
To watch the tower grow dimly white,
And saw it lift against the sky
Its flower of amber light.

You talked of half a hundred things,
I kept each little word you said;
And when at last the hour was full,
I saw the light turn red.

You did not know the time had come,
You did not see the sudden flower,
Nor know that in my heart Love’s birth
Was reckoned from that hour.

 

Union Square

With the man I love who loves me not,
I walked in the street-lamps’ flare;
We watched the world go home that night
In a flood through Union Square.
I leaned to catch the words he said
That were light as a snowflake falling;
Ah well that he never leaned to hear
The words my heart was calling.
And on we walked and on we walked
Past the fiery lights of the picture shows —
Where the girls with thirsty eyes go by
On the errand each man knows.
And on we walked and on we walked,
At the door at last we said good-bye;
I knew by his smile he had not heard
My heart’s unuttered cry.
With the man I love who loves me not
I walked in the street-lamps’ flare —
But oh, the girls who ask for love
In the lights of Union Square.

 

Coney Island

Why did you bring me here?
The sand is white with snow,
Over the wooden domes
The winter sea-winds blow–
There is no shelter near,
Come, let us go.

With foam of icy lace
The sea creeps up the sand,
The wind is like a hand
That strikes us in the face.
Doors that June set a-swing
Are bolted long ago;
We try them uselessly–
Alas there cannot be
For us a second spring;
Come, let us go.

 

Evening at Riverside
(originally titled Summer Night, Riverside)

In the wild soft summer darkness
How many and many a night we two together
Sat in the park and watched the Hudson
Wearing her lights like golden spangles
Glinting on black satin.
The rail along the curving pathway
Was low in a happy place to let us cross,
And down the hill a tree that dripped with bloom
Sheltered us,
While your kisses and the flowers,
Falling, falling,
Tangled in my hair….

The frail white stars moved slowly over the sky.

And now, far off
In the fragrant darkness
The tree is tremulous again with bloom
For June comes back.

To-night what girl
Dreamily before her mirror shakes from her hair
This year’s blossoms, clinging to its coils?

 

Additional information

Score Type

PDF Download, Physical Score

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