Mercy

(1994)

"Mercy" is the first song of André Previn's song cycle Four Songs, which sets the text of Toni Morrison.

Mercy
by Toni Morrison


I could watch
heads
turn from the traveler's look
the camera's probe
bear the purity of their
shame
hear mute desolation in syllables
ancient as
death.
I could do these things
if
only if only
I knew that when milk
spills
and hearts stop
underheel
some small thing gone
chill
is right
to warm toward a touch because
mercy
lies in wait
like a shore.
Mercy
mercy
mercy
like a shore.


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