Franklin Square Song Collection - online songbook

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The following incident is taken from Dr. Taylor's "Elijah, the Prophet:" About two years after the close of the thirty years' war in Germany, George Neumarck lived in a poor street in Hamburg, ob­taining a precarious living by playing on a violoncello. After a while he fell sick, and was unable to go his usual rounds. As this was his only means of sup­port, he was soon reduced to great straits and was compelled to part with his instrument to a broker, who, with characteristic sharpness, lent him on it a sum much below its value for two weeks, after which, if it were not redeemed, it was to be forfeited. As he gave it up, he looked lovingly at it, and tearfully
asked if he might play one more tune upon it. " You don't know," he said " how hard it is to part with it. For ten years it has been my companion; if I had nothing else I had it; and it spoke to me and sang back to me. Of all the sad hearts that have left your door there has been none so sad as mine." Then pausing a moment he seized the instrument and commenced a tune so exquisitely soft that even the pawnbroker listened in spite of himself. A few more strains, and he sang to his own melody two stanzas of his own hymn : " Life is weary, Saviour, take me." Suddenly the key changed—a few bars and the melody poured itself forth anew, and his face
Franz Abt. Charles Mackay.
lighted up with a smile as he sang, " Yet who knows the cross is precious." Then laying down the instrument he said, "As God will, I am still," and hurried from the shop. Going out in the dark­ness, he stumbled against a stranger who seemed to have been listening at the door, and who said to him, " Could you tell me where I could obtain a copy of that song? I would willingly give a florin for it." " My good friend," said Neumarck, "I will give it to you without the florin." The stranger was a valet to the Swedish ambassador, and to him the poet told the story of his trials. He in turn told his
master, who being in want of a private secretary engaged Neumarck at once; and so his troubles ended. But with his first money he redeemed his instrument, and obtaining it, he called ou his land­lady and his friends and neighbors to hear him play on it again. Soon the room was filled, and he sang to his accompaniment his own sweet hymn,
Leave God to order all thy ways, And hope in Him whate'er betide,
Thou'lt find Him in the evil days
Thine all sufficient strength and guide.
Who trusts in God's unchanging love Builds on a rock that nought can move.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III