When joy and gladness the soul,
No voice have we to speak,
And so when sorrow comes our way,
Its sadness leaves us weak;
A heart then speaks that rules the voice and tears the words do mold
And so this tale of centuries in that language her is told.
A sob, a sigh, a tear dimm’d eye,
A softly murmured pray’r
A babe at rest on a mother’s breast,
too young as yet to care;
A note that came from “over there”, tells how their hero died;
A tale that’s old too often told,
A tale of the fireside.
A kindly word of sympathy may soothe the pain a while,
And pride in him whose loss they feel,
May cause a tender smile;
But when the glow from the hearth lights up the faces there,
No pow’r on earth can stem their tears or can fill that vacant chair.
Thornton, J. J. and Shannon, James Royce, "A Tale of the Fireside" (1918). Historic Sheet Music Collection. 1064.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.