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MYTHUS for Choir and String Orchestra - Stanza 3

By Joseph Dillon Ford

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Choir, SATB, String Orchestra - Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Joseph Dillon Ford. 21st Century, Neo-Classical. Score, Set of Parts. 17 pages. Published by David Warin Solomons (S0.440973).

Item Number: S0.440973

This is from a 7 Stanza composition for choir and orchestra with the composer's text as shown below.
The pdf contains Score (in Tabloid Format) and Instrumental Parts and Choir scores (in Letter format).
(Note: The Contrabass part requires extension down to C)
The sound sample is a live performance of Ford's "Serenissima" by the Octava Chamber Orchestra,
in which the voice parts of the original Stanza 3 were turned into solo wind parts.

Stanza 1
 My beloved is born within me, and I within my beloved.
We are as the silence between two thoughts,
The breath between two tones,
The sleep between two dreams
And the vaulting emptiness between two eternities.
We are our children, and our children are numberless.
Let all among them know their parentage
And rejoice in the beauty of our immense aloneness.
Let them eschew the illusions of time
And the vanities of finite imagining.
Let them conceive only what we are,
And in so conceiving engender being beyond becoming.

Stanza 2
Before they came, She knew no age.
She slept in androgynous plenitude
Beneath the undulant folds of Her great sister-mother's cloak
Until Her lofty husband-brother smiled radiantly
Upon Her dormant consciousness,
Quickening visions of a prodigious fecundity.  
And when she who had nursed Her
Lifted the hem of Her shimmering mantle,
She beheld that She had brought forth no mere child
But Her own living raiment.

Stanza 3
No fabric was ever more wondrously woven.
In Its verdant broideries were writ
The veriest mysteries of sun and sky and earth and sea,
And when She stretched langourously on Her vast bed of marble,
An aura of rich perfumes rose upon the winds
And there was a music of leafen whisperings, liquid accents and softly beating wings.

Stanza 4
When he heard this,
Her husband-brother applauded thunderously
And wept with such adoring ardor
That She blushed and hid once more
Under Her mother's billowing skirts.
But by and by She emerged again, demure and chaste,
Beneath a veil of singularly fluid delicacy
Which rose and fell on Her gentle breast
Even as the seasons return and depart.

Stanza 5
They came in envy,
Each scheming and plotting to possess Her for himself.
When none prevailed, they drew lots,
And every one in turn violated and profaned Her
As they would their commonest whore.
They begrimed Her immaculate veil
And snatched it from Her bosom.
They ripped away Her verdant dress,
Which tore like the pitiful cry of slaughtered innocents.
They bound Her with harsh cords of steel
And held Her in thrall with shackles of iron and stone.
Her face became encrusted with the scabrous disease of their lust,
And foul vapors hung about Her marble bed  
Like the stench of burning offal
'Round the altar of an abomination.
Stanza 6
The Old Ones looked on in speechless sorrow,
Their supreme might to no avail,
For well they knew that liberty regained by force
Is liberty twice lost.
They could but plead in deep and plangent tones,
Which, barely penetrating men's coarse ears,
Echoed mutely in the darkness of their hearts
And moved none to pity.

Stanza 7
My beloved dies without me,
And I without my beloved,
Sundered by the violence
Of opposing thoughts,
The fearsome blast
Of martial tones,
The sleeplessness
Of sickly dreams
And the fallen piles of dread destiny.
We have lost our children,
And their days are numbered.
All among them ignore their parentage
And bewail the horror
Of their unfathomable loneliness,
For they have embraced the illusions of time
And the vanities of finite imagining,
Can conceive only what they ought to be,
And in so conceiving
Engender the despair
Of perpetual becoming.

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