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Choral setting of Edna St. Vincent Millay,
a cappella, SATB
Commissioned and performed by the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Cantori,
Robert Cowles, Music Director

Nature and spirituality are at the heart of this poem and we are left wondering at the close which takes precedence.  A simple four note kernel opens the work and is the basis for the entire piece.  Lush at the beginning, spare and austere dramatic counterpoint in the middle, and a touch of mystery at the close.


Ah, could I lay me down in this long grass
And close my eyes, and let the quiet wind
Blow over me-I am so tired, so tired
Of passing pleasant places!  All my life,
Following Care along the dusty road,
Have I looked back at loveliness and sighed;
Yet at my hand an unrelenting hand
Tugged ever, and I passed.  All my life long
Over my shoulder have I looked at peace;
And now I fain would lie in this long grass
And close my eyes.