Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

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

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And doth not a meeting like this make amends,
For all the long years I've been wandcriug away, To see thus around me my youth's early friends,
As smiling and kind as in that happy day? Tho' haply o'er some of your brows, as o'er mine,
The snow-fall of time may be stealing, what then? Like Alps in the sunset, thus lighted by wine,
We'll wear the gay tinge of youth's roses again.
What soften'd remembrances come o'er my heart
In gazing on those we've been lost to so long! The sorrows and joys, of which once they were part,
Still round them like visions of yesterday throng. As letters some hand hath invisibly traced,
When held to the flame, will steal out on the sight; So many a feeling, that long seemed effaced,
The warmth of a meeting like this brings to light.
And thus, as in memory's bark we shall glide To visit the scenes of our boyhood anew;
Tho' oft we may see, looking down on the tide, The wreck of full many a hope shining through—
Yet still as in fancy we point to the flowers That once made a garden of all the gay shore,
Deceived for a moment, we'll think them still ours, And breathe the fresh air of life's morning once more.
So brief our existence, a glimpse, at the most, Is all we can have of the few we hold dear.
And oft even joy is unheeded and lost, For want of some heart that could echo it, near.
Ah well may we hope, when this short life is gone, To meet in some world of more permanent bliss,
For a smile and a grasp of the hand hastening on,
Is all we enjoy of each other in this.
But, come — the more rare such delights to the heart.
The more we should welcome, and bless them the more — They're ours when we meet—they are lost when we part,
Like birds that bring summer, and fly when 'tis o'er. Thus circling the cup, hand in hand, ere we drink,
Let Sympathy pledge us, thro' pleasure, thro'pain, That fast as a feeling but touches one link,
Her magic shall send it direct through the chain.
Captain Charles Morris, author of the following song, was born in Dorking, England, in 1739. He served his country during the American Revolution, and afterwards entered the Life Guards. He was a great social favorite on account of his ready wit and lively songs. He wrote hundreds of ditties, and professed to attempt the reform of music gen­erally heard around the convivial board. In his own language, he wrote " to discipline anew the social bands of convivial life, to blend the sympathies of fellow-hearts, and wreathe a sweeter, gayer garland for the brow of festivity from the divine plants of con­cord, gratitude, friendship and love." The author had attempted the impossible; those "divine plants" flourish only under a purer watering. And the author found it so; for Thackeray, in his " George the Fourth," speaking of Morris, says: " This delightful boou companion of the prince's found 'a reason fair' to forego filling and drinking, saw the error of his ways, gave up the bowl and chorus, and died retired and religious."