Whittier's usual beautiful, pantheistic images are present here,
along with striking contrasts such as "the heats of our desire" -- "thy coolness
and thy balm." Even more strikingly contrasted are the last two lines: "Speak
through the earthquake, wind, and fire, O still small voice of calm."
This piece is dedicated to Ellen Waterman, a very fine
flutist and bassoonist. It was premiered in Spring 2005 by
Dr. Charles Robinson and his choir from the University of
Missouri/Kansas City Music Conservatory at a Susan G.
Komen Breast Cancer Foundation benefit dinner/concert in
Drop Thy still dews of
till all our strivings cease.
Take from our souls the
strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives
confess the beauty of Thy peace.
Breathe through the heats of
Thy coolness and Thy balm.
Let sense be dumb, let flesh
Speak through the earthquake,
wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.
Visit Kjos' website to see
the score and hear an audio recording of this piece