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The Chapel-Organist
by [?]

This evening of Sunday is come–the last of my functioning here.
“She plays as if she were possessed!” they exclaim, glancing upward and round.
“Such harmonies I never dreamt the old instrument capable of!”
Meantime the sun lowers and goes; shades deepen; the lights are turned up,
And the people voice out the last singing: tune Tallis: the Evening Hymn.
(I wonder Dissenters sing Ken: it shows them more liberal in spirit
At this little chapel down here than at certain new others I know.)
I sing as I play. Murmurs some one: “No woman’s throat richer than hers!”
“True: in these parts, at least,” ponder I. “But, my man, you will hear it no more.”
And I sing with them onward: “The grave dread as little do I as my bed.”

I lift up my feet from the pedals; and then, while my eyes are still wet
From the symphonies born of my fingers, I do that whereon I am set,
And draw from my “full round bosom,” (their words; how can I help its heave?)
A bottle blue-coloured and fluted–a vinaigrette, they may conceive –
And before the choir measures my meaning, reads aught in my moves to and fro,
I drink from the phial at a draught, and they think it a pick-me-up; so.
Then I gather my books as to leave, bend over the keys as to pray.
When they come to me motionless, stooping, quick death will have whisked me away.

“Sure, nobody meant her to poison herself in her haste, after all!”
The deacons will say as they carry me down and the night shadows fall,
“Though the charges were true,” they will add. “It’s a case red as scarlet withal!”
I have never once minced it. Lived chaste I have not. Heaven knows it above! . . .
But past all the heavings of passion–it’s music has been my life-love! . . .
That tune did go well–this last playing! . . . I reckon they’ll bury me here . . .
Not a soul from the seaport my birthplace–will come, or bestow me .
. . a tear.