There Will Be Rest

A serene and expansive setting of the treasured text by Sara Teasdale. A stunning work of choral beauty and expressiveness. SSA, flute, piano.


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SSA, flute, piano. Duration: 3’30”


(Aurora, Luther College, Decorah, IA; Sandra Peter conducting)



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View score on publisher page.

Composer’s Notes

This was one of two works commissioned by Cantare, the girls’ choir (ages 15-18) of the Choral Society of Northeast Pennsylvania. The other piece with text by Sara Teasdale is “To Joy.” The premieres took place in May 2005 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The poem is by Sara Teasdale, and the two new works were combined with my setting of another Teasdale poem, “Life Has Loveliness to Sell.” The commission is in memory of Julia Rose Kvashay, a former member of the choir who died in 2003. Ms. Teasdale’s beautiful texts are printed below and were read aloud before each piece was performed. Thanks to Donna Kvashay, Julia’s mother, for attending the performance and celebrating with others the memory of her daughter’s outstanding gifts as a musician, artist and person. This was truly one of the most special commissions I have been asked to fulfill.

There will be rest, and sure stars shining
Over the roof-tops crowned with snow,
A reign of rest, serene forgetting,
The music of stillness holy and low.
I will make this world of my devising
Out of a dream in my lonely mind.
I shall find the crystal of peace, —above me
Stars I shall find.

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children’s faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit’s still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

Lo, I am happy, for my eyes have seen
Joy glowing here before me, face to face;
His wings were arched above me for a space,
I kissed his lips, no bitter came between.
The air is vibrant where his feet have been,
And full of song and color is his place.
His wondrous presence sheds about a grace
That lifts and hallows all that once was mean.
I may not sorrow for I saw the light,
Tho’ I shall walk in valley ways for long,
I still shall hear the echo of the song, —
My life is measured by its one great height.
Joy holds more grace than pain can ever give,
And by my glimpse of joy my soul shall live.

—Sara Teasdale