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The Fiddler’s Farewell

From the Omaha Daily Bee, January 31, 1914. By Alfred Noyes.

With my fiddle to my shoulder,
    And my hair turning gray,
And my heart growing older
    I must shuffle on my way!
Tho’ there’s not a hearth to greet me
    I must reap as I sowed,
And the sunset shall meet me
    At the turn of the road.

Oh, the whin’s a dusky yellow
    And the road a rosy white,
And the blackbird’s call is mellow
    At the falling of the night;
And there’s honey in the heather
    Where we’ll make our last abode,
My tunes and me together
    At the turn of the road.

I have fiddled for your city
    Thro’ market place and inn!
I have poured forth my pity
    On your sorrow and your sin!
But your riches are your burden,
    And your pleasure is your goad!
I’ve the whin-gold for guerdon
    At the turn of the road.

Your village lights’ll call me
    As the lights of home the dead;
But a black night befall me
    Ere your pillows rest my head;
God be praised, tho’ like a jewel
    Every cottage casement showed,
There’s a star that’s not so cruel!
    At the turn of the road.

Nay, beautifully and kindly
    Are the faces drawing nigh,
But I gaze on them blindly
    And hasten, hasten by;
For O, no face of wonder
    On earth has ever glowed
Like the One that waits me yonder
    At the turn of the road.

Her face is lit with splendor,
    She dwells beyond the skies;
But deep, deep and tender
    Are the tears in her eyes;
The angels see them glistening
    In pity for my load,
And—she’s waiting there, she’s listening
    At the turn of the road.

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