Before My Door


"Before My Door" is the fourth song in Lee Hoiby's song cycle O Florida of 1983. The cycle is for voice and piano.

The poet set in this song is Wallace Steven's poem "Contrary Theses (I)."

Contrary Theses (I)
by Wallace Stevens

Now grapes are plush upon the vines.
A soldier walks before my door.

The hives are heavy with the combs.
Before, before, before my door.

And seraphs cluster on the domes,
And saints are brilliant in fresh cloaks.

Before, before, before my door.
The shadows lessen on the walls.

The bareness of the house returns.
An acid sunlight fills the halls.

Before, before. Blood smears the oaks.
A soldier stalks before my door.

--Wallace Stevens: The Collected Poems, pp. 266-267

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