The Death of Mr. Barrett

(1984)
"The Death of Mr. Barrett" is the fourth song of Dominick Argento's song cycle Casa Guidi, which sets excerpts of letters by Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Florence to her sister Henrietta in England between 1846 and 1859. 
The Death of Mr. Barrett
Excerpted from a letter of Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Florence to her sister Henrietta in England (between 1846 and 1859)

It is true that first words must be said --
But of the past I cannot speak. I believe
Hope had died in me long ago
Of reconciliation in this world...
Occupation is the only thing to keep one
On one's feet a little, that I know well.
Only it is hard sometimes to force oneself
Into occupation...there's -- the hardness.
I take up books -- but my heart goes walking up and down
Constantly through that house on Wimpole Street.
Till it is tired, tired, tired. The truth is,
I am made of paper, and it tears me.

Audio PLaylist