Samuel Barber: Hermit Songs

Hermit Songs are poems translated by various hands from Old Irish texts and set to music as lieder by the American composer Samuel Barber (1910-81). One can easily be content with the text alone, as in the following poem. (Thanks to a friend of Hermitary for recommending them.)

The Desire for Hermitage
Ah! To be all alone in a little cell
with nobody near me;
beloved that pilgrimage before the last pilgrimage to death.
Singing the passing hours to cloudy Heaven;
Feeding upon dry bread and water from the cold spring.
That will be an end to evil when I am alone
in a lovely little corner among tombs
far from the houses of the great.
Ah! To be all alone in a littie cell, to be alone, all alone:
Alone I came into the world
alone I shall go from it.