Star-dials pointed to morn

’Star-dials pointed to morn’ is a piece for male choir, 12 voices. The conductor will also sing at one point. It is based on the text ”Ulalume" by Edgar Allan Poe. 

The piece was composed in 2012 and has not yet been performed.

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The skies they were ashen and sober;

The leaves they were crisped and sere-

The leaves they were withering and sere;

It was night in the lonesome October

Of my most immemorial year;

It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,

In the misty mid region of Weir-

It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,

In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

Here once, through an alley Titanic,

Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul-

Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.

There were days when my heart was volcanic

As the scoriac rivers that roll-

As the lavas that restlessly roll

Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek

In the ultimate climes of the pole-

That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek

In the realms of the boreal pole.

Our talk had been serious and sober,

But our thoughts they were palsied and sere-

Our memories were treacherous and sere-

For we knew not the month was October

And we marked not the night of the year-

(Ah, night of all nights in the year!)

We noted not the dim lake of Auber-

(Though once we had journeyed down here),

Remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,

Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

And makes me end where I begun.

And now, as the night was senescent,

And star-dials pointed to morn-

As the star-dials hinted of morn-

At the end of our path a liquescent

And nebulous lustre was born,

Out of which a miraculous crescent

Arose with a duplicate horn-

Astarte’s bediamonded crescent

Distinct with its duplicate horn.

And I said- ”She is warmer than Dian:

She rolls through an ether of sighs-

She revels in a region of sighs:

She has seen that the tears are not dry on 

These cheeks, where the worn never dies,

And has come past the stars of the Lion,

To point us the path to the skies-

To the Lethean peace of the skies-

Come up, in despite of the Lion,

To shine on us with her bright eyes-

Come up through the lair of the Lion,

With love in her luminous eyes.”

But Psyche, uplifting her finger,

Said- ”Sadly this star I mistrust-

Her pallor I strangely mistrust:-

Oh, hasten!- oh,, let us not linger!

Oh, fly!- let us fly!- for we must.”

In terror she spoke, letting sink her

Wings until they trailed in the dust-

In agony sobbed, letting sink her

Plumes till they trailed in the dust-

Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.

Poem by Edgar Allan Poe