for SSAA chorus, piano, and optional violin, cello, 3 percussion
Poem by Harriet Prescott Spofford
Published with Elaine Hagenberg Music
Harriet Prescott Spofford’s poem “By Night” depicts a young woman who discovers a bold new world of thrilling beauty when she ventures beyond her familiar walls. A galloping accompaniment underscores this wild discovery, and a soaring wind motif in the vocal line rushes forth as if to take the viewer's breath away. A contrasting middle section pauses briefly to meditate on the "beauty born in its Maker's thought" before racing forward again, painting a cinematic scene of wonder and awe. An exhilarating piece to close your concert program!
Deep in the tarn the mountain
A mighty phantom gleamed,
She leaned out into the midnight,
And the summer wind went by,
The scent of the rose on its silken wing
And a song its sigh.
And, in depths below, the waters
Answered some mystic height,
As a star stooped out of the depths above
With its lance of light.
And she thought, in the dark and the fragrance,
How vast was the wonder wrought
If the sweet world were but the beauty born
In its Maker’s thought.