God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.@Revelation 7:17
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Adelaide A. Procter (1825-1864)

Adelaide A. Procter, in The English Woman’s Journal, 1858.

Arthur S. Sullivan, 1876 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Sullivan had been trying to set Procter’s words to music for several years, but did not succeed until faced with the death of his brother Fred, to whom he was very close. His brother died a slow death, lingering three weeks, and the grief brought forth this wonderful music from Arthur’s pen. Though unsuited to congregational singing, it was tremendously popular around the beginning of the 20th Century.

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Arthur S. Sullivan (1842-1900)

Seated one day at the organ,
I was weary and ill at ease,
And my fingers wandered idly
Over the noisy keys;
I know not what I was playing,
Or what I was dreaming then,
But I struck one chord of music,
Like the sound of a great Amen,
Like the sound of a great Amen.

It flooded the crimson twilight,
Like the close of an angel’s psalm,
And it lay on my fevered spirit,
With a touch of infinite calm,
It quieted pain and sorrow,
Like love overcoming strife,
It seemed the harmonious echo
From our discordant life,
It linked all the perplexed meanings
Into one perfect peace,
And trembled away into silence,
As if it were loth to cease;
I have sought but I seek it vainly,
That one lost chord divine,
Which came from the soul of the organ,
And entered into mine.

It may be that death’s bright angel
Will speak in that chord again;
It may be that only in Heav’n
I shall hear that great Amen.
It may be that death’s bright angel
Will speak in that chord again;
It may be that only in Heav’n
I shall hear that great Amen.