In the Dark of the End
SATB, piano | Duration c. 3'00"
Hewitt Hill Music
This setting of Walter De La Mare’s stunning poem For All the Grief was jointly commissioned by Nathan Hale High School of West Allis, WI (Zachary Beeksma, conductor) and Cambridge High School of Milton, GA (Matthew Van Dyke, conductor). The poem speaks of the desire to be a source of comfort for those in need, in spite of the potential grief caused by the speaker’s words in the past. Given the beautiful simplicity of these words, I chose to set the text in a very simple way, with a few moments of unusual harmonic interest to communicate both the loneliness and darkness of the poem and the positive intentions contained therein.
For all the grief I have given with words
May now a few clear flowers blow,
In the dust, and the heat, and the silence of birds,
Where the lonely go.
For the thing unsaid that heart asked of me
Be a dark, cool water calling - calling
To the footsore, benighted, solitary,
When the shadows are falling.
O, be beauty for all my blindness,
A moon in the air where the weary wend,
And dews burdened with loving-kindness
In the dark of the end.
- Walter De La Mare