Text by Paul Laurence Dunbar.
Paul Laurence Dunbarʼs poem “Invitation to Love” was published in 1895. It expresses itself in such a sincere and simple, heartfelt manner that I felt compelled to create an equally direct setting. My music typically mixes tonal and non-tonal elements, but for this I restricted myself to only the seven notes of the diatonic scale. Dunbarʼs language is beautiful, but a hint of sadness shadows these lines which I, again, reflect in the music (the unresolved ending, for example); I was no doubt influenced by his biography, which terminates in a lonely, early death from tuberculosis.