American Old Time Song Lyrics: 49 Only A Shadow On The Wall

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 49

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Copyright, 1895, by Lyon & Healy.
By Philip J. Meahl.

An old man once sat musing in his big arm-chair one night,
Which stood there in a corner of the wide, old-fashioned hall;
The fire low was burning, and the waning, flick'ring light,
Cast strange And flitting shadows on the wall.
His thoughts were of his childhood- those sweet days so long ago-
A mem'ry of his mother then came stealing over all.
He thought he saw her dear face, and could almost hear her sigh.
But 'twas nothing but the shadows on the wall.

Only a shadow of days long gone by,
Conjured by thoughts of the past;
Many the faces and fancies that lie
In the flickering fire-light cast.
Hopes that were faded brightly color again,
In the pictures that there softly fall;
And the past becomes present, though still it is vain
As the shadows that dance on the wall.

He thought he saw the fair face of his bride that was to be.
Her hands outstretched in welcome seemed to touch those of his own;
Lie strove to draw her nearer, but his dim old eyes could see
'Twas but another shadow that had flown-
Then came another picture, of a happy wife and child;
It seemed so very real, and the sweetest of them all; i
Their eyes in his were gazing with a smile so sweet and mild.
But 'twas nothing but the shadows on the wail.-Refrain.

Then came another shadow-on the wall there seemed to grow
The bent and stooping likeness of a man grown old from care:
His trembling hands were clasped, on his breast his head bowed low;
'Twas the image of the watcher in the chair.
He still sat there, and silent, when the misty morning gray
Began to come a-stealing through the window in the hall.
The grate held naught but ashes-his poor soul had passed away
With the shadows that were dancing on the wall.-Refrain.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III