From the recording TIME WAS


IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW (words by Edwin Arlington Robinson, adapted by Louis Rosen)

There were faces to remember in the Valley of the Shadow, / There were faces unregarded, there were faces to forget; / There were fires of grief and fear and a few forgotten ashes, / There were sparks of recognition that are not forgotten yet / In the Valley of the Shadow.

Now at first they felt amazed, a self-righteous indignation / At the measureless mistake that somehow brought them to this state. / They were lost and unacquainted—till they found themselves in others, / Ones who groped as they were groping with unfathomable fate / In the Valley of the Shadow.

There were sons and there were daughters who had stumbled to adulthood, / Who saw too late the road they should have taken long ago: / Some were rebels, some were servants to their family's ambition, / The accumulated wreckage of what others did not know / In the Valley of the Shadow.

There were creepers in the darkness where all regrets were torches, / Giving light enough to show them what was there upon the shelves— / There was more for them to see than they ever could remember / Of something that had been alive and once had been themselves / In the Valley of the Shadow.

There were some who knew the grandeur of success and all its glory, / The spoiled sons with shoulders that had never felt the wheel; / And all their empty trophies were a gilded cup of nothing / That no self-respecting thief would ever even care to steal / In the Valley of the Shadow.

Long and often they had bullied for some larger share of profit / And their need to strike a blow was compensation for their doubt / They were selfish men of privilege with silent eyes of envy— / Not a trace of introspection, disenchanted and played out. / In the Valley of the Shadow.

So they were, and so they are; as they came are coming others, / And among them are the fearless and the meek and the unborn; / And a question that has held us until now without an answer / May still remain unanswered until all have ceased to mourn.

For the children of the dark are more to name than are the wretched, / Or the broken, or the weary, or the baffled, or the shamed. / There are builders of new mansions in this pyre of human embers / And among them are the dying and the blinded and the maimed: / In the Valley of—In the Valley of the Shadow.

© 2012 Louis Rosen, Lullwater Music, ASCAP. All Rights Reserved.