Sonnet

(1994)

"Sonnet" is the third song of David Leisner's song cycle To Sleep, which sets the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop.

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The audio selection in the player to the right features Robert Osborne, baritone, and Susan Almasi, piano. The recording is from a live performance in New York, 1995. Used with the permission of the composer. To listen, please click on the track name itself.

Sonnet
by Elizabeth Bishop


I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling finger-tips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!


There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.


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