Nocturne (op. 13, no. 4)

(1941)

"Nocturne" sets poetry from Prokosch's volume The Carnival of 1938. Barber also orchestrated the song. The song comes from the set Four Songs for Voice and Piano, op. 13.

Nocturne
by Frederic Prokosch


Close my darling both your eyes,
Let your arms lie still at last.
Calm the lake of falsehood lies
And the wind of lust has passed,
Waves across these hopeless sands
Fill my heart and end my day,
Underneath your moving hands
All my aching flows away.


Even the human pyramids
Blaze with such a longing now:
Close, my love, your trembling lids,
Let the midnight heal your brow,
Northward flames Orion's horn,
Westward th' Egyptian light.
None to watch us, none to warn
But the blind eternal night.


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