Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund


The Spirit of Air - (2009)    

Walter de la Mare

for baritone and piano


Coral and clear emerald,
And amber from the sea,
Lilac-coloured amethyst,
The lovely Spirit of Air
Floats on a cloud and doth ride,
Clad in the beauties of earth
Like a bride.

So doth she haunt me; and words
Tell but a tithe of the tale.
Sings all the sweetness of Spring
Even in the nightengale?
Nay, but with echoes she cries
Of the valley of love;
Dews on the thorns of her feet,
And darkness above.

[ 3 pages, circa 3' 20" ]

Walter de la Mare


The text is found in the poet's collection, The Veil and Other Poems (1921). For other settings please see my Authors' Index, for de la Mare.



The setting is an inexact two verse form, mirroring the stanzas of the poem with a short codetta. The color-filled images of the first stanza yield to the sky-dark sense of the second, and yet both speak to beauty. For this the setting is lyrical, a three against two gesture in the first beat of its many measures accompanying a lyric melody opening with the seventh of the scale.



The score for The Spirit of Air 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 Spirit of Air