Melody to ancient air
Has touched my soul. O hand so fair
That hymned it forth,
In the golden sunset there,
Of noble worth.
Feeble, poor, and old am I.
What is this life? Alas, how nigh
Seemed it to fate;
When the song I used to try
Came whispering late.
Tears are gauge of purest mind,
Drop e'en a few the maimed and blind:
I loved that song —
Mother sang it, and the wind
Swept soft along.
As I think of saintly face,
The touch of tender loving grace,
I silent turn
Where the sunbeams leapt — no trace
To find no bourne.
So leave I the sunset song,
And hie me home to where I long
To bow my head;
Blessèd the hand that struck among
Chords long since dead,
Bringing back the golden time
Of love and hope in its familiar rhyme;
The corn in ear —
Breath of the bee-swarmed murmuring lime,
To cottage dear.