Lift your eyes, ye lonely watchers,
See the host in raiment white;
List, the strains of heavenly music
Mingling with transcendent light;
Ne’er such music waked a morn;
Sons of men! the Christ is born.
Weary hearts that dwell in darkness,
Cast your dismal fears away;
Lo, the Sun on earth is shining,
For the morn has risen today,
And the light that hailed His birth,
Pours its glory on the earth!
from “Hymns of the Early Church”
Translated by John Brownlie, 1913
Of many gifts bestowed on earth
To cheer a lonely hour,
Oh is there one of equal worth
With music’s magic power?
‘Twill charm each angry thought to rest,
‘Twill gloomy care dispel,
And ever we its power can test, –
All nature breathes its spell.
There’s music in the sighing tone
Of the soft, southern breeze
That whispers thro’ the flowers lone,
And bends the stately trees…
from “Nature’s Music” by Rosanna Eleanor Leprohon
Balmy morning! blessed morning!
In thy calm and cloudless dawning
Smiles the scene!
Even man, by care oppressed,
Feels thy gladness thrill his breast,
Hails thee as a source of bliss,
Precious in a world like this,
Blessing thee –
Welcome, morning light!
from Balmy Morning by Pamela S. Vining
O wanderer! whoever thou mayest be,
I beg of thee to pass in silence here
And leave me with my empty sepulchre
Beside the ceaseless turmoil of the sea;
Pass me as one whom life’s old tragedy
Hath made distraught–who now in dreams doth keep
His cherished dead, unmindful of her sleep
In ocean’s bosom locked eternally!
Scorn not the foolish grave that I have made
Beside the deep sea of my soul’s unrest,
But let me hope that when the storms are stayed
My phantom ship shall sail from out the west
Bringing the boon for which I long have prayed–
The broken vigil and the ended quest.
Kenotaphion by Charles Hamilton Musgrove
The moan of a wintry soul
Melted into a summer song,
And the words, like the wavelet’s roll,
Moved murmuringly along.
And the song flowed far and away,
Like the voice of a half-sleeping rill –
Each wave of it lit by a ray –
But the sound was so soft and so still,
And the tone was so gentle and low,
None heard the song till it had passed;
Till the echo that followed its flow
Came dreamingly back from the past.
from “Dreaming” by Abram Joseph Ryan 1839-1886
We are born; we laugh; we weep;
We love; we droop; we die!
Ah! wherefore do we laugh or weep?
Why do we live or die?
Who knows that secret deep?
Alas not I!
Why doth the violet spring
Unseen by human eye?
Why do the radiant seasons bring
Sweet thoughts that quickly fly?
Why do our fond hearts cling
To things that die?
We toil—through pain and wrong;
We fight—and fly;
We love; we lose; and then, ere long,
Stone-dead we lie,
O life! is all thy song
“Life” by Barry Cornwall (1787-1874)