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November 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm UTC

A new setting of an Edgar Allan Poe poem for The King’s Singers, written as a prequel to The Stolen Child.

Here is The Stolen Child, which in performance immediately follows Alone:

Now available on their terrific new album High Flight. Here is the entire poem:


From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were — I have not seen
As others saw — I could not bring
My passions from a common spring —
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow — I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone —
And all I lov’d — I lov’d alone —
Then — in my childhood — in the dawn
Of a most stormy life — was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still —
From the torrent, or the fountain —
From the red cliff of the mountain —
From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold —
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by —
From the thunder, and the storm —
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view —

Edgar Allan Poe

  • Matt W

    Utterly perfect. I can just hear the unease, the creepiness, the lament in Poe’s words. The sorrow that he is ostracizingly different.

  • Matt W

    One thing:
    They sing “I could not take my passions from a common spring,” but the text you posted has the line being “I could not bring my passions from a common spring.” Was this deliberate?

    • Eric

      Matt, no, it was a terrible mistake. The piece was written so quickly, and the editors missed it. Breaks my heart – the poem is correct, of course.

      • Kris M

        Wow, amazing. One question, Eric, when you look at poetry for inspiration, how do you end up with pieces that are so immensely woven together? I’m trying to become a composer, and your my favorite composer/conductor

  • Max B

    Never before have I heard or sung a piece that sounds so confusing and unmusical for an individual section, but so beautiful and eerie when completely put together. Learning this was a marathon, but I’m excited to premier the SATB version with Gustavus.