I Want to Die While You Love Me

(1975)
"I Want to Die While You Love Me" is a song by Undine Smith Moore for contralto and piano setting the poetry of Georgia Douglas Johnson. The song was composed for Marie Goodman and first performed in 1975 by Marie Goodman Hunter (contralto) and Clarence Whiteman (piano) at the Beaux-Twenty Club program in honor of Undine Smith Moore (Petersburg, Virginia).
I want to die while you love me,
While yet you hold me fair,
While laughter lies upon my lips
And lights are in my hair.

I want to die while you love me
I could not bear to see
The glory of this perfect day
Grow dim or cease to be.

I want to die while you love me
Oh, who would care to live
Till love has nothing more to ask
And nothing more to give!

I want to die while you love me,
And bear to that still bed,
Your kisses turbulent, unspent
To warm me when I’m dead.

[Note: composer Undine Smith Moore rearranged the order of Georgia Douglas Johnson's original poem; the above text is Moore's version.]

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