David John Scott

Lament For The Year 1887

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My tale to-night is full of woe,
I would that it were one of gladness;
I would not thrill your hearts, you know,
With notes of grief or sadness.

My friend and yours is near his end,
His pulse is beating faint and low,
'Tis sad to lose so good a friend,
His time has come and he must go.

His life is ebbing fast away,
His mortal race is almost run,
He cannot live another day,
Nor see another rising sun.

While watching round his dying bed,
The tears we shed are tears of sorrow,
We'll close his eyes for he'll be dead,
And carried hence before to-morrow.

His frame, so fragile now and weak,
Was late the seat of vital power,
But now, alas! he cannot speak,
He's growing weaker every hour.

Old seventy-seven, your friend and mine,
Has done his part by you and me,
Then friends, let us unite and twine,
A bright wreath to his memory.

His reign has been a checker'd reign,
While some have suffered loss and wrong,
We have no reason to complain,
So come and join me in my song.

He found me in the lowly vale,
In poverty with robust health,
And sweet contentment in the scale,
Outweighing fame and pomp and wealth.

Destroying war beneath his reign,
Has drench'd the earth with blood and tears,
Which ever flow, but flow in vain,
As they have done through countless years.

When will the reign of peace begin?
When will the flood of human woe,
That flows from folly, pride, and sin,
Subside, and ever cease to flow?

God speed the time when war's alarms,
Will never more convulse the earth,
And love and peace restore the charms
Which dwelt in Eden at its birth.

Old seventy-seven, again adieu,
We'll ne'er again each other see.
I've been a constant friend to you,
As you have always been to me.

"Step down and out" you've had your day,
Your young successor's at the gate,
Let him be crowned without delay,
The royal stranger seventy-eight.

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