The Remorse of the Dead (2011) for SATB acapella chorus

Listen:

Instrumentation: SATB acapella choir

Duration: 6 minutes

Reading: Fall 2010 | Peabody Singers | Baltimore MD

Text:
O Shadowy Beauty mine, when thou shalt sleep
In the deep heart of a black marble tomb;
When thou for mansion and for bower shalt keep
Only one rainy cave of hollow gloom;

And when the stone upon thy trembling breast,
And on thy straight sweet body’s supple grace,
Crushes thy will and keeps thy heart at rest,
And holds those feet from their adventurous race;

Then the deep grave, who shares my reverie,
(For the deep grave is aye the poet’s friend)
During long nights when sleep is far from thee,

Shall whisper: “Ah, thou didst not comprehend
The dead wept thus, thou woman frail and weak”–
And like remorse the worm shall gnaw thy cheek.

– Charles Baudelaire

reprinted from The Poems and Prose Poems of Charles Baudelaire. Ed. James Huneker. New York: Brentano’s, 1919. [Public Domain]