1. Lullaby

From the recording Lullaby

A sad little lullaby for aging children.  I thought it made an appropriate ending.  Reece wrote it shortly after the death of his beloved mother, when he, too, was suffering from tuberculosis.  It was never included in any of his books.  Dr. Raymond Cook printed it in his biography of Reece, Mountain Singer.


When he was cradle-length he heard
A tender voice croon
Above his head a sleepy word,
And he was sleeping soon:
Sleep, go to sleep,
The stars tip up the sky;
There comes the moon;
The sun will soon
Open his great red eye,
          Sleep, go to sleep.
He slept and woke the years around
And knew both joy and grief
And time that never makes a sound
Was like the willow leaf
That springs again
And falls again
While seasons slip away.
At length a voice touched with pain
Began to sing and say:
Cherish, child, the lovely light,
Cherish, child, the breath;
It isn’t long till fall of night,
It isn’t long till death.
          Then sleep, go to sleep.