Apparition

(1979)
George Crumb's Apparition sets poetry from Walt Whitman's Memories of President Lincoln in When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd.
1. The night, in silence, under many a star

The night, in silence, under many a star;
The ocean shore, and the husky whispering wave, whose voice I know;
And the soul turning to thee, O vast and well-veil'd Death,
And the body gratefully nestling close to thee.

2. When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd,
[ ... ]
I mourn'd, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

3. Dark Mother, always gliding near, with soft feet

Dark Mother, always gliding near, with soft feet,
Have none chanted for thee a chant of fullest welcome?

4. Approach, strong Deliveress!

Approach, strong Deliveress!
When it is so - when thou hast taken them, I joyously sing the dead,
Lost in the loving, floating ocean of thee,
Laved in the flood of thy bliss, O Death.

5. Come lovely and soothing death

Come lovely and soothing death,
Undulate round the world, serenely arriving, arriving,
In the day, in the night, to all, to each,
Sooner or later, delicate death.


6. The night, in silence, under many a star

The night, in silence, under many a star;
The ocean shore, and the husky whispering wave, whose voice I know;
And the soul turning to thee, O vast and well-veil'd Death,
And the body gratefully nestling close to thee.

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