Matins - (2016)    

DuBose Heyward

for medium voice and piano


I saw you pray today
    Out in the park—
Poor little storm-driven
    Child of the dark.

Body to earth you lay
    On the young grass,
Learning the shining way
    April may pass.

I saw the clear song
    Cardinals make
Brush your face tangibly,
    Like wind on the lake.

Then, in the hedge
    Where japonicas grew,
A little breeze was born,
    Boyish and new.

I saw it find you
    And rustle your name;
Lift you, and carry you
    Like a slim flame

Out where the trees break,
    Leaving wide skies.
Now I see always
    The prayer in your eyes.

3 pages, circa 2' 45"

Dorothy and DuBose Heyward


DuBose Heyward is an American author best known for his 1925 novel Porgy, which was adapted by his wife Dorothy into a 1927 play. The stage Porgy inspired the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess with music by George Gershwin. The poem from "Charleston Poems" in found in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, ed. Harriet Monroe, 1912–22.



The setting treats the poem's verses in set of two, three song verses from six poetic verses. Written to be lyrical throughout, this musing on something so small carries the personification of a prayer uttered by nature herself.






The score for Matins 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.