present,” in an unmistakable female hand.
In it, written on gilt-edged paper, were the lines of the song.
The plaintive strain of the piece and its melancholy sentiment struck a responsive chord in a heart already filled with gloom and sorrow.
Though ill-adapted to dissipate one's depression, something about it charmed Lincoln
, and he read and re-read it with increasing relish.
I had forgotten the circumstance until recently, when, in going over some old papers and letters turned over to me by Mr. Lincoln
, I ran across the manuscript, and the incident was brought vividly to my mind.
The envelope, still retaining a faint reminder of the perfumed scent given it thirty years before, bore the laconic endorsement, “poem --like this,” in the handwriting of Mr. Lincoln
Unfortunately no name accompanied the manuscript, and unless the lady on seeing this chooses to make herself known, we shall probably not learn who the singer was. The composition is headed, “The enquiry.”
I leave it to my musical friends to render it into song.
Following are the lines:
Tell me, ye winged winds
That round my pathway roar,
Do ye not know some spot
Where mortals weep no more?
Some lone and pleasant vale
Some valley in the west,
Where, free from toil and pain,
The weary soul may rest?
The loud wind dwindled to a whisper low,
And sighed for pity as it answered, No.