Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

300 traditional songs, inc sheet music with full piano accompaniment & lyrics.

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'Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone; All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone; No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh, To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh !
I'll not leave thee, thou lone one !
To pine on the stem; Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them;
Thus kindly I scatter Thy leaves o'er the bed
Where thy mates of the garden Lie scentless and dead.
So soon may / follow,
When friendships decay, And from love's shining circle
The gems drop away ! When true hearts lie withered,
And fond ones are flown, Oh, who would inhabit
This bleak world alone ?
Thomas Haynes Bayly and his bride were visiting Lord Ashtown, when, on going to the drawing-room after dinner, one day, the gentlemen found it deserted, and Mr. Bayly went to the garden in pursuit of the ladies. Seeing him, they playfully hid them­selves in the winding avenues. He followed floating laughs and laces a while, and then sat down in a tempting arbor. When the ladies joined him, he showed them the manuscript of " I'd be a Butterfly," that moment written. Mrs. Bayly composed an air, and it was sung that evening to a large party assembled in their honor. When the song was after­ward published in a little volume called " The Loves of the Butterflies," dedicated to their host, Lord Ashtown wrote the following reply :
The butterfly, in days of old, Was emblem of the soul we're told; This type to you may well belong— Your butterfly's the soul of song. Yet why to me address the tale Of loves that flutter in the gale; Of spring, or summer's genial ray,— To me, who hasten to decay ?
Why not address the sportive song
To Helen, beautiful and young ?
She well may claim a minstrel's skill;
Although a wife, a mistress still.
Yet such the magic of your strain,
Methinks I live and love again;
Your voice recalls the pleasing theme
Of hope, and joy, and " Love's young dream."