The Breath of a Rose

Still set Hughes' poem in 1928, two years before writing his famous Afro-American Symphony.

Date: 1928Composer: William Grant StillText: Langston Hughes

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Breath of a Rose
by Langston Hughes

Love is like dew
On lilacs at dawn:
Comes the swift sun
And the dew is gone.

Love is like star-light
In the sky at morn:
Star-light that dies
When day is born.

Love is like perfume
In the heart of a rose:
The flower withers,
The perfume goes–

Love is no more
Than the breath of a rose,
No more
Than the breath of a rose.

–The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, p. 305

Sheet Music

The Breath of a Rose

Composer(s): William Grant Still

Voice Type: High

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