The Tears of Two

for SATB a cappella with divisi

The Tears of Two


SATB a cappella with divisi
London, 2018

New Choral Voices, Vol. 5, 2021, Coro Volante, dir. Brett Scott, Ablaze Records

Author of the text
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Copyright of the text
Public domain
4 m
Preview score


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About the piece

The Tears of Two is a setting of Sonnet VI, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, published in 1850. The poem conveys the speaker’s powerful and enduring love for someone and describes the lasting effect that the person they love has had on their life and sense of self. Even if the lovers are apart, they now share one heart, and the speaker’s every thought and action will be filled with memories of their lives together.

The piece starts with an intimate and self-contained feeling, swelling and sweeping through the poem’s many strong emotions and rich imagery, and settling into its moments of quiet reflection. The final phrases especially capture the speaker’s overlapping feelings of anguish and contentment, imagining a life without their lover, but ultimately knowing they will always be together.

Although written as a perfectly regularly rhyming sonnet, almost every line ends in enjambment, so when read (and sung), the lines flow one into the other and blur the formality of the rhyming scheme. The piece does not have a strict meter, but is adapted to these uneven phrases, allowing the singers to naturally emphasise the important moments in the text.

About the poet

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861) was an English poet.

Sonnet VI, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore
Alone upon the threshold of my door
Of individual life, I shall command
The uses of my soul, nor lift my hand
Serenely in the sunshine as before,
Without the sense of that which I forbore—
Thy touch upon the palm. The widest land
Doom takes to part us, leaves thy heart in mine
With pulses that beat double. What I do
And what I dream include thee, as the wine
Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue
God for myself, He hears that name of thine,
And sees within my eyes the tears of two.

New Choral Voices, Vol. 5

The Tears of Two has been included on New Choral Voices, Vol. 5 from Ablaze Records, featuring Coro Volante and director Brett Scott.

New Choral Voices, Vol. 5 is out now
on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Tidal, and Deezer, and is available from Ablaze Records.