Opus number: 14

Title: “Prologue” and “The End of the World” (texts by Archibald MacLeish)

Instrumentation: chorus SATB

Date written: 1982, New York,, Boston

Length: seven minutes

Commissioner: Juilliard Pre-College Chorus for commencement ceremonies

Premiere performance: Juilliard Pre-College Chorus, Rebecca Scott, conductor, June 1982, Juilliard Theater, New York

These alternate nights and days, these seasons somehow fail to convince me.
It seems seems I have the sense of infinity
O crew of Columbus (In your dreams) over the sea
For that surf that breaks upon nothing
Once I was waked by nightingales in the garden
I thought What time is it? Is it time still? Now is it time?
(Tell me your dreams O sailors:
In sleep did you climb
The tall masts and before you)
the stillness of old trees
is a leaning over the inertness
Of hills is a kind of waiting.
(In sleep, in a dream, did you see the world’s end?
Did the water break and nore shore
Did you see?)
Strange faces come through the streets to me
Like messangers
I have been warned
By the moving slowly of hands at a window
O, I have the sense of infinity
But the world, sailors, is round
There say there is no end to it.
“The End of the World”
Quite umexpectedly as Vasserot
The armless ambidextrian was lighting
A match between his great and second toe
Ralph the lion was engaged biting the neck of Madame Sossman
while the drum
Pointed, and Teeny was about to cough
In waltz time singing
Jocko by the thumb
Quite unexpectedly the top blew off:
And there, there overhead, hung over
Those thousands of white faces, those dazed eyes,
There is the starless dark, the poise, the however,
There with vast wings across the canceled skies,
Ther in the sudden blackness, the black pall
Of nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing at all.