Three Dark Songs of Dylan Thomas

for soprano and piano

Stephanie Lange, soprano
Jacob Coleman, piano

I. Here Lie the Beasts

II. Was There A Time

III. Written for a Personal Epitaph


Here Lie the Beasts

Here lie the beasts of man and here I feast,
The dead man said,
And silently I milk the devil’s breast.

Here spring the silent venoms of his blood,
Here clings the meat to sever from his side.
Hell’s in the dust.

Here lies the beast of man and here his angels,
The dead man said,
And silently I milk the buried flowers.
Here drips a silent honey in my shroud,
Here slips the ghost who made of my pale bed, the heaven’s house.

Was There A Time

Was there a time when dancers with their fiddles
In children’s circuses could stay their troubles?
There was a time they could cry over books,
But time has sent its maggot on their track.
Under the arc of the sky they are unsafe.
What’s never known is safest in this life.
Under the skysigns they who have no arms
have cleanest hands, and, as the heartless ghost
Alone’s unhurt, so the blind man sees best.

Written for a Personal Epitaph

Feeding the worm
Who do I blame
Because laid down
At last by time,
Here under the earth with girl and thief,
Who do I blame?
Mother I blame
Whose loving crime
Molded my form
Within her womb,
Who gave me life and then the grave,
Mother I blame.
Here is her labour’s end,
Dead limb and mind,
All love and sweat
Gone now to rot.
I am man’s reply to every question,
His aim and destination.