SATB and Piano
From the first time I read this text, I immediately fell in love with it. The language in the poem is nearly 300 years old, but the message is eternal. The text itself is simple in structure; four words permeate the entire poem and serve as the central message: mercy, pity, peace and love. Through those four sentiments, Blake tells us where the goodness in human nature lies—our compassion—and for me, he paints a picture of Love as a beautiful woman clothed in peace, with pity on her face, and mercy in her heart.
During the months that I was writing The Divine Image, I had been listening to a lot of Brahms (his part songs in particular), so you might hear some glimpses of him every now and then. Aside from the piano introduction (deliberately reminiscent of Die Mainacht), the gentle chromaticism and eventual optimism in the music were simply natural extensions of the beauty inherent in the poetry.
The Divine Image was commissioned by the Praise Choir of the Lutheran Church of Hope as a gift for their amazing director Mike Horstmann. It is dedicated with love to my parents, Alan and Susan.