The Morning Wind, 1914. Gena Branscombe, 1881-1977. A. P. Schmidt Collection. Music Division, Library of Congress. Call number: ML1570.B
Also published as a solo song, Branscombe's choral setting (SSA) was issued by Arthur P. Schmidt Co., Boston, in 1914. The text is by Kendall Banning (1879-1944). The short piano introduction depicts the morning wind with an arpeggiated triplet figure in compound meter. The wind, the dawn, and "the land so fair" are wooing the narrator to explore "wherever roads may lead." The choral homophony builds through an accelerando to a climax at "While yet the dew is on the hedge, so how can I but heed?" The wind figure subsides, and a meter/tempo change to common time/Andante tranquillo marks the entrance of an alto solo. The melody consists of a simple C-Major arpeggio in quarter notes accompanied by a figure in the piano resembling horn calls. The pastoral musical reference paints the text, "The forest whispers of its shade, of haunts where we have been, and where may friends be better made than under God's green inn?" Such longing for a return to nature represents a recurring theme throughout the literature of the period. The concluding section reintroduces the opening compound meter and tempo. Branscombe writes a clever musical depiction of the morning wind's laughter with staccato chords in the piano. The final lines are marked con brio, and declamatory octaves in the voices deliver the text, "All the earth is filled with joy today . . . So how can I but go?"