Caroline Mallonée: SONGS OF CRYSTAL (2017)

Songs of Crystal (2017)

SATB a cappella

in four movements

8 minutes

words by Sara Teasdale

Commissioned by Vocális Chamber Choir.


    The Crystal Gazer

I shall gather myself into myself again,

I shall take my scattered selves and make them one,

I shall fuse them into a polished crystal ball

Where I can see the moon and the flashing sun.

I shall sit like a sibyl, hour after hour intent,

Watching the future come and the present go—

And the little shifting pictures of people rushing

In tiny self-importance to and fro.

II. Winter Dusk


I watch the great clear twilight

   Veiling the ice-bowed trees;

  Their branches tinkle faintly

   With crystal melodies.

  The larches bend their silver

   Over the hush of snow;

  One star is lighted in the west,

   Two in the zenith glow.

  For a moment I have forgotten

   Wars and women who mourn—

  I think of the mother who bore me

   And thank her that I was born.

III. Oh Day of Fire and Sun

  Oh day of fire and sun,

   Pure as a naked flame,

  Blue sea, blue sky and dun

   Sands where he spoke my name;

  Laughter and hearts so high

   That the spirit flew off free,

  Lifting into the sky

   Diving into the sea;

  Oh day of fire and sun

   Like a crystal burning,

  Slow days go one by one,

   But you have no returning.

IV. Like Barley Bending


Like barley bending

   In low fields by the sea,

  Singing in hard wind


  Like barley bending

   And rising again,

  So would I, unbroken,

   Rise from pain;

  So would I softly,

   Day long, night long,

  Change my sorrow

   Into song.

—Sara Teasdale

To listen to more choral music by Caroline Mallonée, click here.

Vocális Chamber Choir

James Burritt, conductor