To Imagination

(1986)

"To Imagination" is the eighth song of David Leisner's song cycle Confiding, which sets the poetry of women poets.

This cycle is available in versions for high voice and piano, medium voice and piano, and high voice and guitar.

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The audio selection in the player to the right features Mary Ann Hart, mezzo-soprano, and Jon Klibonoff, piano. The recording is from a live performance in New York in 1990 (unrevised piano version). Used with the permission of the composer. To listen, please click on the track name itself.

To Imagination
by Emily Brontë


When weary with the long day's care,
And earthly change from pain to pain,
And lost, and ready to despair,
Thy kind voice calls me back again -
O my true friend, I am not lone
While thou canst speak with such a tone!


So hopeless is the world without,
The world within I doubly prize;
Thy world where guile and hate and doubt
And cold suspicion never rise;
Where thou and I and Liberty
Have undisputed sovereignty.


What matters it that all around
Danger and grief and darkness lie,
If but within our bosom's bound
We hold a bright unsullied sky,
Warm with ten thousand mingled rays
Of suns that know no winter days?


Reason indeed may oft complain
For Nature's sad reality,
And tell the suffering heart how vain
Its cherished dreams must always be;
And Truth may rudely trample down
The flowers of Fancy newly blown.


But thou art ever there to bring
The hovering visions back and breathe
New glories o'er the blighted spring
And call a lovelier life from death,
And whisper with a voice divine
Of real worlds as bright as thine.


I trust not to thy phantom bliss,
Yet still in evening's quiet hour
With never-failing thankfulness
I welcome thee, benignant power,
Sure solacer of human care
And brighter hope when hope despairs.


Audio PLaylist