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Velvet Shoes
Norman Mathews

voice, piano


$3.50 for two copies

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In Velvet Shoes, the phrases “soundless space” and “white silence below” most informed Mathews in finding the appropriate tranquility in this composition. The slow, steady eighth notes of the accompaniment helped to locate this effect. Mathews' setting of the poem is distinctly in contrast to the very famous version composed by Randall Thompson, which instead is marked quasi una marcia in lontananza.


Let us walk in the white snow
In a soundless space;
With footsteps quiet and slow,
At a tranquil pace,
Under veils of white lace.
I shall go shod in silk,
And you in wool,
White as a white cow’s milk,
More beautiful
Than the breast of a gull.
We shall walk through the still town
In a windless peace;
We shall step upon white down,
Upon silver fleece,
Upon softer than these.
We shall walk in velvet shoes:
Wherever we go
Silence will fall like dews
On white silence below.
We shall walk in the snow.

Elinor Wylie

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