The singer stood in a blaze of light,
And fronted the flowery throng;
Her lips parted with her greeting smile,
Her soul soared out in her song.
Now hovering like an imprisoned bird
With is plainings thrilling nigh,
Then faintly sweet, as the reapers hear
A lark afar in the sky;
And forth like thunder the praises broke,
And the singer bowed and smiled,
And flowers fell fast in a scented storm–
But she was not to be wiled.
‘Shall I throw my gifts to this fickle throng?’
She thought with a bitter sigh.
‘What do they care for my simple song?’
As she courtesied a glad good-by.
The singer sat in her lonely room,
As the stars peeped out of the haze,
And her voice poured forth in its sweetest gush,
Though none was beside to praise–
Till she saw a form to her window creep
And crouch by its misty pane,–
An old dame wept at the wondrous song
That gave back her youth again!
The singer stirred not, nor made a sign
That she saw where the listener stood,
But once and again she raised her voice
And poured out its golden flood,
And only ceased when the minster bells
Shook out their evening clang–
Then one thanked God for the song she heard,
And one for the song she sang.