For Every Love a Place

A setting for unaccompanied men's chorus (TTBB)
of the poem To a Friend by James Fenimore Cooper, Jr.

Duration: 5 minutes

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Captain James Fenimore Cooper, Jr., (1892-1918) was the great-grandson of the famous novelist. A graduate of Yale, Cooper died of pneumonia at Camp Dix, New Jersey, the first member of his class to die in service during World War I. To a Friend was published posthumously in 1918 in a collection titled Afterglow, some of which had previously appeared in the Yale Literary Magazine. Captain Cooper is described therein as having "a character which never departed from the determination to do what was right and to be kind and just to all."

To a Friend

Thy voice, as tender as the light
That shivers low at eve --
Thy hair, where myriad flashes bright
Do in and outward weave --
Thy charms in their diversity
Half frighten and astonish me.

Thy hands, that move above the keys
With eager touch and swift --
Whereby thy mind, with magic ease
Doth into music drift --
They fill me with a strange delight
That doth defy expression quite.

Thine eyes, that hold a mirth subdued
Like deep pools scattering fire --
Mine dare not meet them in their mood,
For fear of my desire,
Lest thou that secret do descry
Which evermore I must deny.

Thy very quiet dignity
Thy silence, too, I love--
Nay-- thy light word is destiny
Decreed in spheres above --
My mind, my heart is bowed to thee,
And hard it is that I must flee.

Hard is the world that does not give
For every love a place;
Hard is the power that bids us live
A life bereft of grace -
Hard, hard to lose thy figure, dear,
My star and my religion here!

Purchase Sheet Music

Sheet music for For Every Love a Place is available from J.W.Pepper and from Sheet Music Plus.