The Banks of the Yellow Sea

The Banks of the Yellow Sea
"The Banks of the Yellow Sea" is the first song in Ernst Bacon’s cycle Six Songs. Ernst Bacon's setting of Dickinson's poem is a mournful cantilena with a "slow and nostalgic swing." Because of his ability to compose virile, forthright music to accompany, but not overwhelm, Dickinson's delicate, economic poetry, Bacon is considered one of Dickinson's best interpreters.

Image: Sunset (California scenery). Published by L. Prang & Co., 1864. Prints and Photographs Reading Room, Library of Congress.

Date: 1942Composer: Ernst BaconText: Emily DickinsonSong Collection: Six Songs

Print vitals & song text




    The Banks of the Yellow Sea
    by Emily Dickinson

    This is the land the sunset washes,
    These are the banks of the yellow sea;
    Where it rose, or whither it rushes,
    These are the western mystery!

    Night after night her purple traffic
    Strews the landing with opal bales;
    Merchantmen poise upon horizons,
    Dip, and vanish with fairy sails.

    Related Information

    Sheet Music

    Six Songs

    Composer(s): Ernst Bacon

    Song(s): 1. The Banks of the Yellow Sea
    2. Ancient Christmas Carol
    3. Omaha
    4. No Dew Upon the Grass
    5. A Clear Midnight
    6. World, Take Good Notice

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