The Town Rabbit in the Country - (2006)
for mezzo soprano and piano
Three hours ago in Seven Dials
She lived awaiting all the trials
That haunt her race, but now shall be
Freed on the lawn to play with me.
In the dim shop her eyes were grey
And languid; but in this bright day
To a full circle each dilates,
And turns the blue of Worcester plates
In the unaccustomed sun; she
At strange fresh leaves; the passing airs,
her box's brink,
She gulps as if her nose could drink.
the edge she scrambles slow,
Too pleased to know which way to go --
Half dazed with pleasure she explores
This sunny, eatable out-of-doors.
Then shakes and tosses up her ears
Like plumes upon bold cavaliers --
The dust flies out as catherine-wheels
Throw sparks as round she twirls
and reels --
Her spine it quivers like an eel's --
Over her head she
flings her heels,
Comes down askew, then waltzes till
reverse or else feel ill --
Reverses, then lies down and pants
one who has no further wants,
Staring with half-believing eyes
souls that wake in Paradise.
From The Best Poems of 1923, Leonard A. G. Strong, editor.
The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial
performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement
with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.
The Town Rabbit in the Country