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Words by Adelaide A. Proctor.
Composed expressly for Madame Sainton Dolby.
Published by Boosey & Co., 1865.
Sullivan set five lyrics by Adelaide Anne Proctor, the most famous being The Lost Chord.
Will He Come? was the first song of Sullivan's to be published on a royalty basis rather than being sold outright to the publisher, which enhanced the income from the song considerably. He also earned money as a church organist. He was appointed organist of St. Peter's, Cranley Gardens at its consecration in 1867. Unfortunately, the Bishop was late for the ceremony. As Sullivan later recounted: "As the minutes went by and the Bishop didn't arrive I began to play appropriate music. First I played I Waited for the Lord, and then went on with a song of mine which is entitled Will He Come? The appropriateness of the pieces was perfectly apprehended by the congregation."
"I can scarcely hear," she murmured,
"For my heart beats loud and fast.
But surely, in the far, far distance,
I can hear a sound at last."
It is only the reapers singing,
As they carry home their sheaves,
And the evening breeze has risen,
And rustles the dying leaves.
The dying leaves.
"Listen! there are voices talking,"
Calmly still she strove to speak,
Yet her voice grew faint and trembling,
And the red flush'd in her cheek.
It is only the children playing
Below, now their work is done.
And they laugh that their eyes are dazzled
By the rays of the setting sun,
Of the setting sun.
Fainter grew her voice and weaker
As with anxious eyes she cried:
"Down the avenue of chestnuts,
I can hear a horseman ride,"
It was only the deer that were feeding,
In a herd on the clover grass,
They were startled and fled to the thicket,
As they saw the reapers pass.
Now the night arose in silence,
Birds lay in their leafy nest,
And the deer couch'd in the forest,
And the children were at rest,
There was only a sound of weeping
From watchers around a bed,
But rest to the weary spirit,
Peace to the quiet dead,
Peace to the quiet dead.
Page Created 18 April 2004