Charles T. Griffes was an early 20th century American impressionist composer/poet/lyricist whose literate art reminded Me of Poe's in several respects, with his love of dark metaphor and melancholy romance.
I had the pleasure of attending a recital earlier tonight in which the following two, among several others from other sublime composers, were sung; the following were My favorites for the night:
Thy dark eyes to mine, Eilidh,
Lamp of desire!
O how my soul leaps, leaps to their fire!
Sure, now, if I were in heaven,
Dreaming in bliss,
Heard but a whisper,
But a lost echo even of one such kiss,
All of the soul of me would leap afar,
If that called me to thee,
Aye, I would leap afar,
A falling star.
The Rose of The Night
The dark rose of thy mouth
Draw nigher, draw nigher!
Thy breath is the wind of the south,
A wind of fire!
The wind and the rose and darkness,
O Rose of my Desire!
Deep silence of the night,
Husht like a breathless lyre,
Save the sea's thunderous might,
Dim menacing, dire;
Silence and wind and sea,
They are thee, O Rose of my Desire!
As a wind eddying flame
Leaping higher and higher,
Thy soul, thy secret name,
Leaps thro' Death's blazing pyre!
Kiss me, Imperishable Fire,
Dark Rose, O Rose of my Desire!
Griffe's composition "The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan" (or, "A Vision In A Dream") inspired Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem by the same name, which also long since remains a favored piece. "Bachannal" by Griffes is also highly recommended reading for Satantric contemplation. Following is a fragment from "The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan":
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, (2) the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, (3)
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover! (4)
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently (5) was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
A damsel with a dulcimer (6)
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian (7) maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice, (8)
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
(1) The 13th-century founder of the Yuan dynasty in China, Kublai Khan ruled over a lavishly luxurious court known to Europeans main through the descriptions of the Italian merchant and traveler Marco Polo.
(2) Magical river in western Greece.
(3) Meandering streams.
(4) Through a wood of cedars.
(6) String instrument struck with two light hammers, used both in China and in Europe, in different forms.
(7) Abyssinia is the northeastern African country now known as Ethiopia.
(8) A protective ritual.