Skip to main content


From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

A poor stonecutter, at his work one day,
Was grieved to see a rich man pass that way—
A rich man, in his costly garments dressed,
His proud heart beating ‘neath a silken vest.
“O, would that I were rich!” the poor man said,
“That I might take my ease on silken bed,
Or walk abroad in garments soft and fine,
And menial labor nevermore be mine.”
An angel heard him, and, in pity true,
Said: “Thus it shall be granted unto you.”

Joy thrilled his heart. A rich man now was he;
His gloating eyes his grand possessions see.
In ‘broidered, silken robes his limbs he dressed;
On soft and perfumed couch he took his rest;
But—lo!—on looking forth one balmy day,
He saw the mighty emperor pass that way,
The haughty ruler of a goodly land,
Whose word was law, whose nod a high command;
Slaves ran to wait on him at beck and call,
And held aloft the golden parasol.
“Ah!” said the man, and spurned his silken bed,
“I would that I were emperor, that o’er my head
That great and golden parasol be spread.”
While yet he breathed his bold, aspiring prayer,
“Thy wish is granted,” echoed in the air.
Read More

Sheet Music – Fifth of November

Download sheet musicFor piano and bowed psaltery

Guy_FawkesContinuing with my music transcription project, I now present you with the second piece of music I wrote, which I came up with while playing around on a cheap borrowed keyboard in the attic of our shop in October of 2006. I decided to name the minor tune “Fifth of November” because Guy Fawkes Day was right around the corner, a holiday celebrated in many English-speaking countries (yet not in mine, perhaps because of the anti-loyalist sympathies that were going around during the revolution).

For those of you who are knowledgeable in the ways of music, please do not scrutinize this piece too carefully. I know much more about music now than I did then, and consequently I now see the unintentional dissonance between the bowed psaltery and the piano in places. But the piece sounds decent, and you may hear a recording of it on another post of mine.

Hope you like it!

Hymn of the Week – I Love Thee

From Jeremiah Ingall’s Christian Harmony, 1805
Cyber Hymnal entry

I love Thee, I love Thee, I love Thee, my Lord;
I love Thee, my Savior, I love Thee, my God:
I love Thee, I love Thee, and that Thou dost know;
But how much I love Thee my actions will show.

I’m happy, I’m happy, oh, wondrous account!
My joys are immortal, I stand on the mount:
I gaze on my treasure and long to be there,
With Jesus and angels and kindred so dear.

O Jesus, my Savior, with Thee I am blest,
My life and salvation, my joy and my rest:
Thy name be my theme, and Thy love be my song;
Thy grace shall inspire both my heart and my tongue.

Oh, who’s like my Savior? He’s Salem’s bright King;
He smiles and He loves me and helps me to sing:
I’ll praise Him, I’ll praise Him with notes loud and clear,
While rivers of pleasure my spirit shall cheer.

Martha's Picnic

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

“Are you going to get me that new dress, mother?”

The young girl spoke timidly, and the wistful, pleading look in her eyes would have touched any heart not preoccupied with other things.

Her mother turned to her sharply. “For mercy’s sake! Martha, what are you talking about? A new dress—what dress, child?”

Martha bent lower over her ironing table to hide the tears in her dusky eyes, but her voice trembled a little as she answered: “For the picnic next Saturday, mother. The girls are all getting dresses of that grass goods at Johnson’s, and I did want one so bad.” Read More

Hymn of the Week – Savior, Breathe an Evening Blessing

Music by George Stebbins (1878)
Poem by John Edmeston (1820)
Cyber Hymnal entry
Amazon MP3 recording

Savior, breathe an evening blessing
Ere repose our spirits seal;
Sin and want we come confessing:
Thou canst save and Thou canst heal.

Though destruction walk around us,
Though the arrows past us fly,
Angel guards from Thee surround us:
We are safe if Thou art nigh.

Though the night be dark and dreary,
Darkness cannot hide from Thee;
Thou art He who, never weary,
Watchest where Thy people be.

Should swift death this night o’ertake us,
And our couch become our tomb,
May the morn in heav’n awake us,
Clad in bright and deathless bloom.