When I Am Gone Away

When I Am Gone Away, song on a poem my Christina Rossetti, for lyric soprano or tenor and piano, (2012) c. 3 min. World premiere sung by Courtney Ross on October 14, at Emmanuel UCC, Hanover PA.


I came across the poem on facebook: a friend posted it without comment, and it stayed with me. The voice can be that of a woman or a man. I set it for soprano, but a tenor could also sing it. When I asked my friend why he posted the poem, he said he found it fitting having came across it around the time of Memorial Day, which then made a lot of sense to me.

Here is the poem:

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land,
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of the future you had planned.
Only remember me: you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
That that you should remember and be sad.