A song for soprano and lute.
This setting of a poem by John Keats is one of several I made in the late 1980s.
It deals with two subjects of great importance to me:
one being birds--those feathery angels who, throughout the arc of my existence,
have so often lifted my gaze along with my spirits towards their ethereal realm;
the other being death—that dreaded but obligatory harbinger to new life,
whose merciless hand I felt at a young age.
May this song help bring peace to those who suffer and reflection to those who suffer not.
I had a dove and the sweet dove died,
And I have thought it died of grieving:
O, what could it grieve for? Its feet were tied
With a silken thread of my own hands weaving;
Sweet little red feet! why should you die--
Why should you leave me, sweet bird! why?
You liv'd alone in the forest-tree,
Why, pretty thing! would you not live with me?
I kiss'd you oft and gave you white peas;
Why not live sweetly, as in the green trees?