Listen to "Prayer for This House"
About the Music
Composer: Barbara Ulman
Performers: Composer's Choir - Daniel Shaw, Director
Louis Untermeyer’s poem Prayer for This House came to me in the mail in 1978. Shortly after reading it, I began hearing a melody for the whole poem. I wrote it down and then harmonized it in the style of a Bach chorale, accompanied by piano or organ. Each verse is slightly different from the others in order to accommodate the rhythm of the words.
Both piano and organ versions of the score are included in the sheet music on my MusicaNeo website.
About the poet
In 1956 the Poetry Society of America awarded Louis Untermeyer a Gold Medal. He served as a Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1961 until 1963.
PRAYER FOR THIS HOUSE
May nothing evil cross this door,
And may ill-fortune never pry
About these windows.
May the roar and the rain go by.
By faith made strong, the rafters will
Withstand the batt'ring of the storm.
This hearth, though all the world grow chill,
Will keep you warm.
Peace shall walk softly through these rooms,
Touching our lips with holy wine,
Till ev'ry casual corner blooms
Into a shrine.
With laughter drown the raucous shout,
And though these shelt'ring walls are thin,
May they be strong to keep hate out,
And hold love in.
Sheet music and audio file available at: