(6 March 1855 - 1 March 1939 / Toronto)

The Song My Mother Sings

SWEET unto my heart is the song my mother sings
As eventide is brooding on its dark and noiseless wings;
Every note is charged with memory–every memory bright with rays
Of the golden hours of promise in the lap of childhood's days;
The orchard blooms anew and each blossom scents the way,
And I feel again the breath of eve among the new-mown hay;
While through the halls of memory in happy notes there rings
All the life-joy of the past in the song my mother sings.

I have listened to the dreamy notes of Chopin and of Liszt,
As they dripped and drooped about my heart and filled my eyes with mist;
I have wept strong tears of pathos 'neath the spell of Verdi's power,
As I heard the tenor voice of grief from out the donjon tower;
And Gounod's oratorios are full of notes sublime
That stir the heart with rapture through the sacred pulse of time;
But all the music of the past and the wealth that memory brings
Seem as nothing when I listen to the song my mother sings.

It's a song of love and triumph, it's a song of toil and care;
It is filled with chords of pathos and it's set in notes of prayer;
It is bright with dreams and visions of the days that are to be,
And as strong in faith's devotion as the heart-beat of the sea;
It is linked in mystic measure to sweet voices from above,
And is starred with ripest blessing through a mother's sacred love;
Oh, sweet and strong and tender are the memories that it brings,
As I list in joy and rapture to the song my mother sings.

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