Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Alone in my chamber, forsaken, unsought,
My spirit's enveloped in shadows of night,
Is there no one to give me a smile or a thought?
Is there none to restore to me faded delight?

The zephyrs disport with a light-bosomed song,
And the joy-laden songsters flit over the lea--
Yet the hours of the spring as they hurry along
Bring nothing but sadness and sighing to me!

There were friends--but their love is departed and dead,
And alone must the tear-drop disconsolate start,
All the beauty of Life, all its sweetness is fled,
Oh, who shall unburden this weight at my heart!

Lennox Amott


Thou'rt gone like the meteor that blazed in the sky,
And the spot thou hast smiled upon knows thee no more,
Is there no one that heaves o'er thy ashes a sigh?
Is there none to regret? Is there none to deplore?

Thy note--it is silent, thy song--it is hushed,
No more shall thy music entrance or enthral,
The music that like the blue rivulet gushed,
A finger of terror has silenced it all.

When far through the cloisters the anthem was stealing,
Thy heart was ablaze with a heavenly ray--
When thy organ was softly and tenderly pealing,
Or the bass of thy bourdon was rolling away.

Thy vespers were sweet and thy exquisite numbers
Swelled gently and hung on the tremulous air,
And, light as the prayer before infancy's slumbers,
Ascended on high--thou hast followed them there.

And like the dim eve was thy spirit's repose,
When loftily o'er thee, while musing alone,
Within the cathedral thine echoes arose
And melted to feeling the passionless stone.

While sculptured recess and immortalized shrine
And far-stretching arches were bathed in the flood
Of the lingering sunset, whose beauties were thine,
And the motionless figures were blazoned in blood.

But an undertone rose thro' the chords like a wail,
'Twas thy elegy mourning thee deep in the sound,
Soon, soon did that something of sadness prevail,
And the minors commingled and fell to the ground.

Rest peacefully, Minstrel, He took thee who gave,
That passion is still that once swelled in thy lay,
Thy notes are departed, thy fame is thy grave,
For the angels descended and bore thee away.

[Footnote 1: The late John Amott, for over thirty years
Organist of Gloucester Cathedral, who fell dead immediately
after the rendering of the anthem "Oh that I had the wings of
a dove, for then would I flee away and be at rest."]

Lennox Amott


The eve is still and silent and above the tinted plain
The passing clouds are driving gentle showers of summer rain,
And the scent of hay-strewn meadows and the fresh-besprinkled ground
Is mingling with the perfume of the flowers that bloom around.

Off I wander and I stroke the gleeful spaniel at my side,
And, delighted with each other, do we ramble far and wide,
While a ditty is the tribute to the joy that gives it birth,
And the leaves, refreshed, are pouring their cool nectar to the earth.

Oh let me gaze again upon the moisture-laden sky,
Let me see the rolling masses, let me hear the plover's cry,
While enveloping the distant mountain-summits like a shroud,
Like a head bent down and hoary, hangs a heavy wreath of cloud.

Let me gaze upon the sunshine as it breaks upon the mist,
As it bathes the stony mountains that the clouds have lately kissed,
As it tips the dripping leaflet with a scintillating gem,
Like the far-resplendent treasure in a monarch's diadem.

Let me tread the shining pasture-lands, the greenest of the green,
Let me quaff the luscious perfume of the smiling, glistering scene,
While beautified and golden stands the ripe and waving grain,
And all Nature sings for gladness now that sunshine follows rain.

Lennox Amott


When the twilight shadows deepen and the far-off lands are dim,
And the vesper dirge is stealing like the chant of cherubim,
There's a prayer within my bosom that's responsive to the sound,
There's a thought that springs within me--but 'tis sad and silence-bound.

There's a sorrow in those shadows as they lengthen on the lawn,
For the joy of life has vanished and its sweetness--all is gone,
And the purple mists of even as they hover o'er the glade
Seem to hush in voiceless gloom the deep recesses of the shade.

Oh thou beyond those heathery hills, beyond those woodlands blue,
Which, as they meet the eastern sky, receive its azure hue,
Ah, must I lonely linger here, where nought but griefs await,
Where life is but one long, long sigh, and all disconsolate?

I'm weeping, yes I'm weeping, with the sun of youth gone down,
With the blossoms of the summer-time all withering and brown,
Thou can'st not know that rending pain, those sobs thou can'st not hear,
Thou can'st not feel those burning throbs whence wells the sparkling tear.

Oh say thou wilt not turn away, oh say we must not part,
Thou would'st not spurn this aching breast, nor crush this breaking heart,
Without thee, what is Life?--a name--in which no life can be,
Oh give me back thy smile, thy tear--'tis all the world to me.

Lennox Amott


There's a face that beclouds like a shadow my pathway at morn and eve,
There's a form that glides before me which my eyes can never leave,
When I pore above the hearth and heavy thoughts my bosom fill,
I start like a sleeper from dreaming, for it's standing beside me still.

When I stroll in the gloom of the evening is that figure before me cast
With its strange and measured footfall, like the shadow of something past,
All through my summer wandering does it darken the light of the sun,
And it sits like a phantom to mock me when the work of the day is done.

It is ever present with me like an overhanging blight,
Thro' the heaviness of morning and the wakefulness of night,
When I bend within my chamber in the attitude of prayer--
With a look of wrapt devotion is it kneeling--kneeling there.

There's a strangeness in its features, there's a horror in its eye,
There's a sadness in its visage like the tremour of a sigh,
And as silently as ever it precedes me thro' the day
While I long for the hush of midnight ere its hours have passed away.

Oh when shall that figure leave me, are its terrors to haunt me still
Like the ever deepening twilight in the valley o'er the hill?
And its wild and ill forebodings--must they--can they never cease?
When its shadow rests above me, is there none to whisper peace?

Is there no one that can soothe me? Is there no one that can save?
No, that figure still must haunt me and shall haunt me to my grave,
From my cradle to my coffin is that vision doomed to be
A scare of Hell and darkness--a thing of terror unto me!

Lennox Amott


I saw on a hedge that was flourishing by
A rose that was stirred by the breath of the morn,
So smiling and fragrant it looked there, that I
Was tempted to seize it, forgetting the thorn.

I eagerly plucked it but found to my pain
'Twas scentless and in it an insect was curled,
So I flung it away to the hedgerow again
And I thought of the joys of this troublesome world.

Lennox Amott