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O Time

The commissioners have exclusive recording rights until April 4, 2021.


SATB (div.), piano

Robert Herrick, William Butler Yeats, John Milton, Henry van Dyke



Inkjar Publishing Company
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O Time contains three movements, all focusing on various aspects of time. The first movement, To Enjoy the Coming of Wisdom with Time, combines two poems: To Enjoy the Time by Robert Herrick, and The Coming of Wisdom with Time, by William Butler Yeats. The first poem (“While fates permit us”) implores us to enjoy life while we can, whereas the second poem (“Though leaves are many”) reminds us of the lessons we learn as time takes its unavoidable toll. For the second movement, Fly Envious Time, I excerpted John Milton’s poem On Time. This poem begins by accusing time of being greedy, stealing time from our lives, but ends with the assurance that time cannot touch us in the everlasting afterlife. The third and final movement, Time Is, is a beautiful poem by Henry van Dyke that comments on how we experience the slow or swift passage of time based on various states of emotion.
All texts are in public domain.

I. To Enjoy the Coming of Wisdom with Time  
Robert Herrick and William Butler Yeats
While fates permit us, let's be merry; 
Pass all we must the fatal ferry; 
And this our life, too, whirls away,
With the rotation of the day. 

Though leaves are many, the root is one
Through all the lying days of my youth
I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun;
Now I may wither into the truth. 

II. Fly Envious Time 
John Milton
Fly envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,
Whose speed is but the heavy Plummets pace;
And glut thy self with what thy womb devours,
Which is no more then what is false and vain, 
And meerly mortal dross;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain.
For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb'd,
And last of all, thy greedy self consum'd, 
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss;
And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,
When every thing that is good
And perfectly divine, 
When once our heav'nly-guided soul shall clime,
Then all this Earthy grosnes quit, 
Attir'd with Stars, we shall for ever sit,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee
O Time.

III. Time Is
Henry van Dyke
Time is 
Too Slow for those who Wait,
Too Swift for those who Fear,
Too Long for those who Grieve,
Too Short for those who Rejoice;
But for those who Love,
Time is not.