Thursday, 13 October 2011

'Echo' and other Poems

I'm a little bit obsessed at the moment with this setting of Christina Rossetti's poem 'Echo' (and not just because the combination of Rossetti and Julia Margaret Cameron happens to be a marriage of my current two Favourite Things):

Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
As sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years.

O dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet,
Whose wakening should have been in Paradise,
Where souls brimfull of love abide and meet;
Where thirsting longing eyes
Watch the slow door
That opening, letting in, lets out no more.

Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live
My very life again though cold in death:
Come back to me in dreams, that I may give
Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:
Speak low, lean low
As long ago, my love, how long ago.

There are settings of other Rossetti poems by the same composer on youtube which are equally lovely ('My heart is like a singing bird' and 'Remember me' are my favourites), and also this and this and this by Emily Bronte. Beautiful settings and superb videos; check them out!

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