The End

Published in 2008 for the first time in Rorem's 50 Collected Songs, "The End," which sets a poem of Dana Gioia from 1986, was written in March of 2003 and premiered the same year at American University.

Date: 2003Composer: Ned RoremText: Dana Gioia

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The End
by Dana Gioia

Last night I dreamed the end had come.
Silent, impotent, invisible as air,
I stood by in a hundred places:
a stranger’s house, a city street, an office and a garden–
and like a sleeper shaken from a dream
I witnessed what I could not understand.

A woman washing dishes at a sink
looked out her window calmly as she heard
something unexpected in the air.
Men on the sidewalk, drivers in the street
observed the weather in a cloudless sky
and kept going.
In an office clerks and secretaries glanced up
at the clock without remembering the time.

I saw the same cold profile everywhere at once–
a pale face looking up against the light,
then bending down again indifferently,
only this dull reflex of acceptance,
then nothing else, nothing ever again.


Sheet Music

50 Collected Songs

Composer(s): Ned Rorem

Song(s): Clouds
The End
Chromatic Fantasy
For Susan
Psalm 150
The Nightingale
A Birthday
A Child Asleep in Its Own Life
A Journey
The Land of Fear
Little Elegy
The Lordly Hudson
O Do Not Love Too Long
On a Little Bird
Poem for F.
The Serpent
Shelley's Vision
The Sick Wife
Spring (Hopkins)
Spring (Koch)
The Waking
What if some little pain...
While Sodom was occupied
A Glimpse
He Thinks Upon His Death
Rain in Spring
You, the young Rainbow
Early in the Morning
Are you the new person?
Catullus: on the Burial of His Brother
Ferry me across the water
I strolled across an open field
I will always love you
Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair
Look down, fair moon
Love in a Life
On a Singing Girl
Sometimes with one I love
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Such beauty as hurts to behold
That shadow, my likeness
To a Young Girl
Visits to St. Elizabeths

Voice Type: High & Medium/Low

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