If truth in hearts that perish

for soprano and piano

Text by A. E. Housman

premiered January 2020
Melissa Givens, soprano; Genevieve Feiwen Lee, piano
Bridges Hall of Music
Claremont, CA

“If truth in hearts that perish” was written in memory of dear friend and colleague Jonathan Wright, at the request of his wife Joanne. It was premiered here at Pomona College at his memorial service by Melissa Givens and Genevieve Feiwen Lee.


If truth in hearts that perish
Could move the powers on high,
I think the love I bear you
Should make you not to die.

Sure, sure, if stedfast meaning,
If single thought could save,
The world might end to-morrow,
You should not see the grave.

This long and sure-set liking,
This boundless will to please,
—Oh, you should live for ever
If there were help in these.

But now, since all is idle,
To this lost heart be kind,
Ere to a town you journey
Where friends are ill to find.

-A. E. Housman


other music for solo voice