his dim chapel day by day
The organist was wont to play,
And please himself with fluted reveries;
And all the spiritís joy and
The longing of a tender life,
Took sound and form upon the ivory keys;
And though he seldom spoke a
The simple hearts that loved
glowing soul in these.
day as he wrapped, a sound
Of feet stole near; he turned
A little maid that stood beside him there.
She started, and in shrinking-wise
Besought him with her liquid
And little features, very sweet and spare.
"You love the music, child,"
And laid his hand upon her head,
smoothed her matted hair.
answered, "At the door one day
I sat and heard the organ play;
I did not dare to come inside for fear;
But yesterday, a little while,
I crept half up the empty aisle
And heard the music sounding sweet and clear;
To-day I thought you would not
For, master dear, your face
so I came up here."
love the music then," he said,
And still he stroked her golden
And followed out some winding reverie;
"And you are poor?"
said he at last;
The maiden nodded, and he passed
His hand across his forehead dreamingly;
"And will you be my friend?"
"And on the organ learn
music here with me?"
all the little maidenís face
Was kindled with a grateful
"Oh, master, teach me; I will slave for thee!"
She cried; and so the child
To him, and slowly year by year
He taught her all the organís majesty;
And gave her from his slender
Bread and warm clothing, that
cheeks were pinched to see.
year by year the maiden grew
Taller and lovelier, and the
Deepened upon her tender cheeks untried.
Rounder, and queenlier, and
Her form grew, and her golden
Fell yearly richer at the masterís side.
In speech and bearing, form
Sweeter and graver, grace by
sometimes at his work a glow
Would touch him, and he murmured
"How beautiful she is?" and bent his head;
And sometimes when the day went
And brought no maiden he would
And lean and listen to her velvet tread;
And he would drop his hands
"My music cometh not to-day;
God she be not dead!"
the sweet maiden filled his heart,
And with her growing grew his
For day by day more wondrously he played.
Such heavenly things the master
That in his happy dreams he
The organís self did love the gold-haired maid:
But she, the maiden, never guessedó
What prayers for her in hours
The sombre organ
last, one summer morning fair,
The maiden came with braided
And took his hands, and held them eagerly.
"To-morrow is my wedding
Dear master, bless me that the
Of life be smooth, not bitter unto me."
He stirred not; but the light
Out of his shrunken cheeks,
head hung heavily.
love him, then?" "I love him well,"
She answered, and a numbness
Upon his eyes and all his heart that bled.
A glory, half a smile, abode
Within the maidenís eyes and
Upon her parted lips. The master said,
"God bless and bless thee,
With peace and long delight,"
hands upon her head.
she was gone; and all that day
The hours crept up and slipped
And he sat still, as moveless as a stone.
The night came down, with quiet
And darkened him: in coloured
Along the shadowy aisle the moonlight shone.
And then the master woke and
His hands across the keys at
made the organ moan.
organ shook, the music wept;
For sometimes like a wail it
In broken moanings down the shadows drear;
And otherwhiles the sound did
And like a sudden tempest fell
Through all the windows wonderful and clear.
The people gathered from the
And filled the chapel seat by
could not choose but hear.
there they sat till dawning light,
Nor ever stirred to awe. "To-night,
The master hath a noble mood," they said.
But on a sudden ceased the sound:
Like ghosts the people gathered
And on the keys they found his fallen head.
The silent organ had received
The masterís broken heart relieved,
he was white and dead.