Open Thy Lattice Love

(1844)

Stephen Foster was just 18 when “Open Thy Lattice Love” appeared. Set to a poem by George Pope Morris, this lilting call from a lover was Foster’s first published song.

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The audio recording, provided in the audio player to the right, features Thomas Hampson, baritone, and Craig Rutenberg, piano. This song was recorded for Instant Encore as part of American Public Media's Performance Today series, presented by Classical Minnesota Public Radio. To listen, please click on the track name itself. You can download a recording of this entire recital for free through the Instant Encore website with the download code: THSOA2009.

Foster is regarded as one of America’s principal and most influential songwriters, and it is fitting that he shares his birthday with that of the nation. Born on July 4, 1826 in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, Foster revealed an early interest in music but received little formal training. He displayed an affinity for Irish melodies, German songs, and Italian operas in his compositions.


Open Thy Lattice, Love
by George Pope Morris


Open thy lattice, love, listen to me!
The cool balmy breeze is abroad on the sea!
The moon like a queen, roams her realms of blue,
And the stars keep their vigils in heaven for you
Ere morn’s gushing light tips the hills with its ray,
Away o’er the waters away and away!
Then open thy lattice, love, listen to me!
While the moon’s in the sky and the breeze on the sea!


Open thy lattice, love, listen to me!
In the voyage of life, love our pilot will be!
He will sit at the helm wherever we rove,
And steer by the load-star he kindled above
His shell for a shallop will cut the bright spray,
Or skim like a bird o’er the waters away;
Then open thy lattice, love, listen to me!
While the moon’s in the sky and the breeze on the sea!


Audio PLaylist