Come hither, child—who gifted thee
With power to touch that string so well?
How darest thou rouse up thoughts in me,
Thoughts that I would—but cannot quell?
Nay, chide not, lady; long ago
I heard those notes in Ula’s hall,
And had I known they’d waken woe
I’d weep their music to recall.
But thus it was: one festal night
When I was hardly six years old
I stole away from crowds and light
And sought a chamber dark and cold.
I had no one to love me there,
I knew no comrade and no friend;
And so I went to sorrow where
Heaven, only heaven saw me bend.
Loud blew the wind; 'twas sad to stay
From all that splendour barred away.
I imaged in the lonely room
A thousand forms of fearful gloom.
And with my wet eyes raised on high
I prayed to God that I might die.
Suddenly in that silence drear
A sound of music reached my ear,
And then a note, I hear it yet,
So full of soul, so deeply sweet,
I thought that Gabriel’s self had come
To take me to thy father’s home.
Three times it rose, that seraph strain,
Then died, nor breathed again;
But still the words and still the tone
Dwell round my heart when all alone.