Dear master of the tuneful lyre,
How shall we breathe the word, "Farewell"?
How shall we touch the trembling wire,
Which vibrates with thy mystic spell?
The world seems poor, of thee bereft;
The evening sky without the sun;
The setting, not the gem, is left;
The frame remains, the picture gone.
As birds that float on heavenward wing,
Unseen, the air with music fill,—
Singing, they soar, and, soaring, sing,—
Thy broken harp yields music still.
Life's golden bowl was dashed too soon,
But love still holds thy cherished name;
No sunset thine, but fadeless noon;
No shadow, but immortal fame.
So the dear chrysalis we hide,
For God's safe-keeping in the tomb;
And, in firm faith and hope, we bide
The dawn that breaks the silent gloom,
Wait the fair day, the glorious hour,
The precious form, enshrined in clay,
Instinct with new-created power,
Shall wake, and heaven-ward soar away.
Newton Centre, October 18, 1894