Time Has Cast It All Far Back
- For SATB chorus and piano; secular text by noted Abolitionist activist praising the beauties of his hometown
- Length: 4:00
- Difficulty rating (1-5): 3
Listen to a performance by the Plymouth Anniversary Chorus, Dan Perkins, conductor:
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- Score: $1.50 (for reproduction rights; minimum purchase of 10 required; additional charge for hard copies)
I wrote “Time Has Cast It All Far Back” for the celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the town of Plymouth, New Hampshire, where I’ve lived and worked for more than 20 years. For text, I turned to the writings of Plymouth’s most famous native, the Abolitionist leader Nathaniel Peabody Rogers (1794–1846). Though Rogers’ work against slavery eventually took him throughout the United States and Europe, he was always happiest when he could return to the town of his birth, and saddest when he had to leave it again. When I learned that some of the performers at the premiere would be recent graduates from our local high school, I realized that, with some minor text alterations, this piece could speak to anyone who’s come to love a place and has to leave it.
Time has cast it all far back . . .
Few places strike the eye so very pleasantly as my town, my home. That sunlit valley all of a deep, deep green—the trees flush with leaves, and the meadows dark with verdure. There isn’t a lovelier little valley, after all, any side the sea I have been. I never saw it show finer than now.
Time has cast it all far back. Large trees, that were saplings almost, when I used to climb them. An old fishing-brook, that had only changed by growing smaller. Oh, that beautiful valley, with its meadows and its border trees! Oh, that little village, and that one house we could distinguish among them!
It was with emotions that we cannot describe, that we cast our farewell gaze over the native region, that lay beneath our feet.
—Nathaniel Peabody Rogers (1794-1846), alt.