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Thou'rt Passing Hence

(From The Highland Message).

Words by Mrs. Felicia Hemans.
Published by Chappell & Co., 1875.
Sung by Charles Santley.


In September 1874, Sullivan was staying at Balcarres, the home of Sir Coutts and Lady Lindsay. In his diary for September 21 he records, "I finished and wrote out my song, Thou art passing hence, my Brother, and dated it the 22nd. It is very curious that I should have done it just now. Time passes very quickly. It doesn't seem eight years ago since dear father died."

Sullivan's father had died 22 September 1866.


Karaoke File


Music cover
Thou'rt passing hence, my brother!
Oh! my earliest friend, farewell!
Thou'rt leaving me, without thy voice,
In a lonely home to dwell;
And from the hills, and from the hearth,
And from the household tree,
With thee departs the ling'ring mirth,
The brightness goes with thee.

But thou, my friend, my brother!
Thou'rt speeding to the shore
Where the dirge-like tone of parting words
Shall smite the soul no more!
And thou wilt see our holy dead,
The lost on earth and main:
Into the sheaf of kindred hearts,
Thou wilt be bound again!


Then tell our whitehair'd father,
That in the paths he trod,
The child he loved, the last on earth,
Yet walks and worships God.
Say, that his last fond blessing yet
Rests on my soul like dew,
And by its hallowing might I trust
Once more his face to view.

And tell our gentle mother,
That on her grave I pour
The sorrows of my spirit forth,
As on her breast of yore.
Happy thou art that soon, how soon,
Our good and bright will see!
Oh brother, brother! may I dwell,
Ere long, with them and thee!

Happy thou art that soon,
Our good and bright will see!
Oh brother, brother! may I dwell,
Ere long, with them and thee!
Charles Santley
Santley

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