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Love's Philosophy
for baritone and piano
duration: 3¼ minutes
Love's Philosophy

The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the Ocean
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine? —

  See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this work worth
If thou kiss not me?

— Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1820

© 2003 David Gompper
Program Notes
The music to the poem by Shelley was written during the fall of 2003 as a commission by Richard Hurtig for his wife, Judith, on their 33rd wedding anniversary. The two questions at the end of each stanza in the poem are treated differently in musical terms: the first with strength and resolve, the second with tender sweetness. The song itself is an arch form, but leaves the question open, unresolved, and unanswered.