Songs to the Dark Virgin

"Songs to the Dark Virgin" sets the text of Langston Hughes from his 1926 volume The Weary Blues. Despite its plural title, the song itself integrates all three stanzas of the poem into one song.

Date: 1941Composer: Florence PriceText: Langston Hughes

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Text

Songs to the Dark Virgin
by Langston Hughes

I.

Would
That I were a jewel,
A shattered jewel,
That all my shining brilliants
Might fall at thy feet,
Thou dark one.

II.

Would
That I were a garment,
A shimmering, silken garment,
That all my folds
Might wrap about thy body,
Absorb thy body,
Hold and hide thy body,
Thou dark one.

III.

Would
That I were a flame,
But one sharp, leaping flame
To annihilate thy body,
Thou dark one.

–The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, pp. 61-62

Sheet Music

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.

Song(s): For You There is No Song (Leslie Adams)
Early in the Mornin' (David Baker)
A Good Assassination Should Be Quiet (David Baker)
Status Symbol (David Baker)
Three Dream Portraits: Minstrel Man; Dream Variations; I, Too (Margaret Bonds)
The Barrier (Charles Brown)
Song Without Words (Charles Brown)
Death of an Old Seaman (Cecil Cohen)
Two Songs for Julie Ju (Noel da Costa)
Cassandra's Lullaby (Mark Fax)
Love (Mark Fax)
A Charm at Parting (Adolphus C. Hailstork)
I Loved You (Adolphus C. Hailstork)
Absalom (Eugene Hancock)
Nunc Dimittis (Eugene Hancock)
Riding to Town (Thomas Kerr, Jr.)
Compensation (Charles Lloyd, Jr.)
If There Be Sorrow (Wendell Logan)
Marrow of My Bone (Wendell Logan)
Chanson Triste (Maurice McCall)
Sweet Sorrow (Maurice McCall)
Weary Blues (Dorothy Rudd Moore)
Love Let the Wind Cry...How I Adore Thee (Undine Moore)
Faithful One (Robert Owens)
Genius Child (Robert Owens)
A Child's Grace (Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson)
Melancholy (Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson)
Night (Florence Price)
Song to the Dark Virgin (Florence Price)
Velvet Shoes (Hale Smith)
Grief (William Grant Still)
A Death Song (Howard Swanson)
I Will Lie Down in Autumn (Howard Swanson)
The Negro Speaks of Rivers (Howard Swanson)
Lament (George Walker)
A Red, Red Rose (George Walker)
Wry Fragments (Olly Wilson)
Dancing in the Sun (John Work, Jr.)
Soliloquy (John Work, Jr.)

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Florence Price: 44 Art Songs and Spirituals

Composer(s): Florence Price

Song(s): A White Rose (John Boyle O'Reilly)
An April Day (Joseph Cotter)
Because (Paul Laurence Dunbar)
Beside the Sea (Paul Laurence Dunbar)
Bewilderment (Langston Hughes)
Dawn's Awakening (James Joseph Burke)
Death's Gwineter Lay His Cold Icy Hand on Me (Spiritual)
Feet o' Jesus (Langston Hughes)
Four Encore Songs: Tobacco (Graham Lee Hemminger); A Flea and a Fly (Ogden Nash); "Come, come," said Tom's Father (Thomas Moore); Song of the Open Road (Ogden Nash)
Go Down, Moses (Spiritual)
God Gives Me You (Nora Connelly)
Hold Fast to Dreams (Langston Hughes)
I Grew a Rose (Paul Laurence Dunbar)
I'm Goin' to Lay Down My Heavy Load (Spiritual)
Love-in-a-mist (Mary Rolofson Gamble)
My Little Soul's Goin' to Shine (Spiritual)
My Neighbor (Paul Laurence Dunbar)
My Soul's Been Anchored in de Lord (Spiritual)
Night (Louise C. Wallace)
Out of the South Blew a Wind (Fannie Carter Woods)
Resignation (Florence B. Price)
Rise Mourner (Spiritual)
Save Me Lord, Save Me (Spiritual)
Some o' These Days (Spiritual)
Song to the Dark Virgin (Langston Hughes)
Sunset (Odessa P. Elder)
Sympathy (Paul Laurence Dunbar)
The Glory of the Day Was in Her Face (James Weldon Johnson)
The Moon Bridge (Mary Rolofson Gamble)
The Poet and His Song (Paul Laurence Dunbar)
The Washerwoman (Otto Leland Bohanan)
To My Little Son (Julia Johnson Davis)
Travel's End (Mary Folwell Hoisington)
Trouble Done Come My Way (Florence B. Price)
Two Traditional Negro Spirituals: I am Bound for the Kingdom; I'm Workin' on My Buildin'
We Have Tomorrow (Langston Hughes)
Weary Traveler (Spiritual)
What's the Use (Paul Laurence Dunbar)
Words for a Spiritual ("Capricorn")
You Won't Find a Man Like Jesus (Spiritual)

Voice Type: Medium/High

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