THE CHOIR SINGER(Gone, but Not Astray)
Copyright, 1894, by James Stillman.
Words and Music by Gussie L. Davis.
A mansion grand in splendor, a maiden young and fair,
A happy home and all heart could desire.
With fond and loving parents, she had no thought of care,
And she used to sing down in the village choir.
A village lad, her sweetheart and schoolmate long ago,
One day told his love, they promised to be wed,
But her father he objected and he sternly told them so,
But one morn awoke and found that they had fled.
Never again to sing with the village choir,
She run away was all that the world could say,
Never again to mingle with those that loved her;
Though she has gone, she has not gone astray.
Safe in a far off city the truant ones were wed,
A message to the old folks came one day,
Her father's heart was hardened as he the message read,
Though it told him that she had not gone astray.
A mother and a widow ere two short years rolled by,
Her husband dead, she longed for home once more,
And with her baby wandered back, but heard this sad reply,
I disown you, never enter at my door.-Refrain.
The little village church bells chimed sad that Sunday morn,
The mother with her baby wandered there;
She took her place among them as in the days agone,
There on bended knees to heaven sent a prayer.
The prayer at last was ended, she sadly sang a hymn,
While all sat too amazed to breathe a word;
It was grander than a sermon, for with tears all eyes grew dim,
'Twas that melody, the sweetest ever heard.
Abide with me, fast fails the even tide;
The darkness deepens, Lord with me abide;
Change and decay in all around I see,
At this last strain the outcast singer died.