Presently: Two Songs,

Texts by Edna St. Vincent Millay (2005)

Vocal Texts:

Loving You Less Than Life, a Little Less

 

Loving you less than life, a little less

Than bitter-sweet upon a broken wall

Or brush-wood smoke in autumn, I confess

I cannot swear I love you not at all.

For there is that about you in this light—

A yellow darkness, sinister of rain—

Which sturdily recalls my stubborn sight

To dwell on you, and dwell on you again.

And I am made aware of many a week

I shall consume, remembering in what way

Your brown hair grows about your brow and cheek

And what divine absurdities you say:

Till all the world, and I, and surely you,

Will know I love you, whether or not I do.

 

Copyright © 1923 , Public Domain

 

 

I Think I Should Have Loved You Presently

 

I think I should have loved you presently,

And given in earnest words I flung in jest;

And lifted honest eyes for you to see,

And caught your hand against my cheek and breast;

And all my pretty follies flung aside

That won you to me, and beneath your gaze,

Naked of reticence and shorn of pride,

Spread like a chart my little wicked ways.

I, that had been to you, had you remained,

But one more waking from a recurrent dream,

Cherish no less the certain stakes I gained,

And walk your memory’s halls, austere, supreme,

A ghost in marble of a girl you knew

Who would have loved you in a day or two.

Copyright © 1922. Public Domain

00:00 / 01:46

Douglas Fisk / Edna St. Vincent Millay

Loving You Less Than Life, a Little Less

Annie Rosen, mezzo-soprano

Douglas Fisk, Piano

00:00 / 02:04

Douglas Fisk / Edna St. Vincent Millay

I Think I Should Have Loved You Presently

Annie Rosen, mezzo-soprano

Douglas Fisk, Piano