Scripture Verse

The remembrance of the righteous is a blessing. Proverbs 10:7


Words: Sam­u­el Burn­ham, Sab­bath Songs (Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: Lee & Shep­ard, 1869), page 128, alt. An­ni­ver­sa­ry Hymn.

Music: Man­da­lay Hein­rich C. Zeun­er (1795–1857) (🔊 pdf nwc). Some hym­nals show the com­pos­er as Charles Zeun­er, an al­ter­nate name for Hein­rich Zeun­er.

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Burn­ham or Zeu­ner (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


Memories of the past come swelling
O’er the graves of bygone years;
Scenes of joy and sorrow telling,
Sun and shadow, smiles and tears.
Merry shouts of joy and gladness
Ring out from the shadowy past,
While the mournful tones of sadness
Wail like winter’s shivering blast.

Many a loved one fondly cherished,
Calmly in the churchyard sleeps;
Many an orange flower has perished,
Many a willow sadly weeps.
Many a voice has ceased its singing,
But in brighter, fairer skies,
Where Heaven’s harmonies are ringing,
Joins that song that never dies.

Yet we feel that hovering near us,
Spirits of the sainted dead,
From the dim past come to cheer us,
With their guardian wings outspread.
Thus do memories come pressing,
On the track of bygone years:
And though sorrow came with blessing,
Smiles are glistening through the skies.

Bless to us past mercies given,
Bless to us this festal day,
Show us all the road to Heaven,
Lead us in the shining way.
Just beyond death’s narrow river,
Heav’n’s own glories on us shine;
Father! grant that there, forever,
We may sing of love divine.