By Sara Teasdale
I went out at night alone;
The young blood flowing beyond the sea
Seemed to have drenched my spirit’s wings—
I bore my sorrow heavily.
But when I lifted up my head
From shadows shaken on the snow,
I saw Orion in the east
Burn steadily as long ago.
From windows in my father’s house,
Dreaming my dreams on winter nights,
I watched Orion as a girl
Above another city’s lights.
Years go, dreams go, and youth goes too,
The world’s heart breaks beneath its wars,
All things are changed, save in the east
The faithful beauty of the stars.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Nocturne for Orchestra by Charles Koechlin
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.
Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.
This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: The Snow Is Dancing by Claude Debussy
The Snow Fairy
By Claude McKay
Throughout the afternoon I watched them there,
Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky,
Whirling fantastic in the misty air,
Contending fierce for space supremacy.
And they flew down a mightier force at night,
As though in heaven there was revolt and riot,
And they, frail things had taken panic flight
Down to the calm earth seeking peace and quiet.
I went to bed and rose at early dawn
To see them huddled together in a heap,
Each merged into the other upon the lawn,
Worn out by the sharp struggle, fast asleep.
The sun shone brightly on them half the day,
By night they stealthily had stol’n away.
And suddenly my thoughts then turned to you
Who came to me upon a winter’s night,
When snow-sprites round my attic window flew,
Your hair disheveled, eyes aglow with light.
My heart was like the weather when you came,
The wanton winds were blowing loud and long;
But you, with joy and passion all aflame,
You danced and sang a lilting summer song.
I made room for you in my little bed,
Took covers from the closet fresh and warm,
A downful pillow for your scented head,
And lay down with you resting in my arm.
You went with Dawn. You left me ere the day,
The lonely actor of a dreamy play.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Almost Too Serious (from "Scenes from Childhood") by Robert Schumann
By Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Dear love, where the red lillies blossomed and grew,
The white snows are falling;
And all through the wood, where I wandered with you,
The loud winds are calling;
And the robin that piped to us tune upon tune,
Neath the elm—you remember,
Over tree-top and mountain has followed the June,
And left us—December.
Has left, like a friend that is true in the sun,
And false in the shadows.
He has found new delights, in the land where he's gone,
Greener woodlands and meadows.
What care we? let him go! let the snow shroud the lea,
Let it drift on the heather!
We can sing through it all; I have you—you have me,
And we’ll laugh at the weather.
The old year may die, and a new one be born
That is bleaker and colder;
But it cannot dismay us; we dare it—we scorn,
For love makes us bolder.
Ah Robin! sing loud on the far-distant lea,
Thou friend in fair weather;
But here is a song sung, that’s fuller of glee,
By two warm hearts together.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Elegy for Violin & Piano by Gerald Finzi
By Wilhelm Muller
Frozen tear drops
fall from my cheeks:
Can it be that, without knowing it,
I have been weeping?
O tears, my tears,
are you so lukewarm,
That you turn to ice
like cold morning dew?
Yet you spring from a source,
my breast, so burning hot,
As if you wanted to melt
all of the ice of winter!
REFLECTIVE MUSIC; Frozen Tears (from "Winterreise") by Franz Schubert
The Linden Tree
By Wilhelm Muller
By the fountain, near the gate,
There stands a linden tree;
I have dreamt in its shadows
So many sweet dreams.
I carved on its bark
So many loving words;
I was always drawn to it,
Whether in joy or in sorrow.
Today, too, I had to pass it
In the dead of night.
And even in the darkness
I had to close my eyes.
And its branches rustled
As if calling to me:
"Come here, to me, friend,
Here you will find your peace!"
The frigid wind blew
Straight in my face,
My hat flew from my head,
I did not turn back.
Now I am many hours
Away from that spot,
And still I hear the rustling:
There you would have found peace!
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: The Linden Tree (from "Winterreise") by Franz Schubert