The Sirens / Solo Instrument Works / Concert Music

The Sirens

The Sirens, 2004 (9′)

for solo bass clarinet or baritone saxophone

The Sirens

I never knew the road

From which the whole earth didn’t call away,

With wild birds rounding the hill crowns,

Haling out of the heart an old dismay,

Or the shore somewhere pounding its slow code,

Or low-lighted towns

Seeming to tell me, stay.


Lands I have never seen

And shall not see, loves I will not forget,

All I have missed, or slighted, or foregone

Call to me now. And weaken me. And yet

I would not walk a road without a scene.

I listen going on,

The richer for regret.


— Richard Wilbur, 1950