Song of the Universal
SSAA, piano, string orchestra
Lyrics: Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman has always been one of my favorite poets. I love the unabashed optimism, exuberance and his unwavering confidence in our deeper humanity – all through the prism of a big, warm, beating heart.
There were all qualities I found in his wonderful Song of the Universal poem, from which I chose a few excerpts to form the lyrics for this piece.
Come, said the Muse,
Sing me a song no poet yet has chanted,
Sing me the Universal.
In this broad Earth of ours,
Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,
Enclosed and safe within its central heart,
Nestles the seed Perfection.
By every life a share, or more or less,
None born but it is born—conceal’d or unconceal’d, the seed is waiting.
Give me, O God, to sing that thought!
Give me—give him or her I love, this quenchless faith
In Thy ensemble. Whatever else withheld, withhold not from us,
Belief in plan of Thee enclosed in Time and Space;
Health, peace, salvation universal.
All, all for Immortality!
Love, like the light, silently wrapping all!
Nature’s amelioration blessing all!
The blossoms, fruits of ages—orchards divine and certain;
Forms, objects, growths, humanities, to spiritual Images ripening.
– Walt Whitman