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I sat alone at the organ,
At the close of a troubled day,
When the sunset’s crimson embers
On the western altar lay.
I was weary with vain endeavor,
My heart was ill at ease,
And I sought to soothe my sadness
With the voice of the sweet toned keys.
My hands were weak and trembling,
My fingers all unskilled,
To render the grand old anthem
With which my soul was filled.
Through the long day’s cares and worries,
I had dreamed of that glorious strain,
And I longed to hear the organ
Repeat it to me again.
It fell from my untaught fingers
Discordant and incomplete.
I knew not how to express it,
Or to make the discord sweet;
So I toiled with patient labor
Till the last bright gleams were gone,
And the evening’s purple shadows
Were gathering one by one.
Then a Master stood beside me,
And touched the noisy keys,
And lo! the discord vanished
And melted in perfect peace.
I heard the great organ pealing
My tune that I could not play,
The strains of the glorious anthem
That had filled my soul all day.
Down through the dim cathedral
The tide of music swept,
And through the shadowy arches
The lingering echoes crept;
And I stood in the purple twilight
And heard my tune again,
Not my feeble, untaught rendering,
But the Master’s perfect strain.
So I think, perchance, the Master,
At the close of life’s weary day,
Will take from our trembling fingers
The tune that we cannot play;
He will hear through the jarring discord
The strain, although half expressed;
He will blend it in perfect music,
And add to it all the rest.
—M. E. Kinney.
— April, 1888 —