“‘Far Away'” by Charles Fenno Hoffman

by Ann Neilson

This poem has touched my heart for some years now. Whether Hoffman’s song was merely in imitation of the original 1833 piece published by Tom Rice, or inspired by George P. Morris’ own version, composed by Charles Edward Horn and published in 1839,* he has set his version apart in such a lyrically refreshing, original way that it stands on its own exceptionally well.

If you would like to hear this beautiful poem come to life, pair the lyrics with these outstanding covers I have found of the original and feel free to follow along,

Link One
Link Two

*Note: The title of the reworked version by Morris and Horn is “Near the Lake where drooped the Willow.” You can view the sheet music for their version here.

“Far Away”
Air—”Long time ago.”
Charles Fenno Hoffman

THE song—the song that once could move me
In life’s glad day—
The song of her who used to love me
Far—far away—
It makes my sad heart, fonder—fonder—
Wildly obey
The spell that wins each thought to wander
Far—far away !

Once more upon my native river
The moonbeams play,
Once more the ripples shine as ever
Far—far away—
But ah, the friends who smiled around me,
Where—where are they !
Where the sweet spell, that early bound me,
Far—far way ?

I think of all that hope once taught me—
Too bright to stay—
Of all that music fain had brought me,
Far—far away !
And weep to feel there’s no returning
Of that glad day,
Ere all that brightened life’s fresh morning
Was far—far away.