The story behind the art song goes:
“Brant was accompanying Theodore Simmons, a music student, to a local cemetery, where he saw a commonly seen statue of an angel with his head down, enclosed in his arms, weeping. The statue inspired Brant who wrote the lyrics as a poem, which he sent to Still, who set it to music. The piece was premiered by Theodore Simmons (tenor), who sang it at a concert, accompanied by his wife Barbara on the piano, also a student of Brant. Still was in attendance.”
From the unpublished letters of William Grant Still to Theodore Simmons (Public Domain)
by LeRoy V. Brant
Weeping angel with pinions trailing
And head bowed low in your hands.
Mourning angel with heart-strings wailing,
For one who in death’s hall stands.
Mourning angel silence your wailing,
And raise your head from your hands.
Weeping angel on your pinions trailing
The white dove, promise, stands!
Anthology of Art Songs by Black American Composers, Compiled by Willis C. Patterson
Composer(s): H. Leslie Adams, David Baker, Margaret Bonds, Charles Brown, Cecil Cohen, Noel de Costa, Mark Fax, Adolphus C. Hailstork, Eugene Hancock, Thomas Kerr, Jr., Charles Lloyd, Jr., Wendell Logan, Maurice McCall, Dorothy Rudd Moore, Undine Smith Moore, Robert Owens, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Florence Price, Hale Smith, William Grant Still, Howard Swanson, George Walker, Olly Wilson, John Work, Jr.Buy via Classical Vocal Reprints
Composer(s): William Grant Still
Voice Type: HighBuy via Sheet Music Plus