Once a chapel, fair its steeple,
Fancy none could fairer paint,
There was built by Gmünd’s good people,
Sweet Cecilia was its Saint.
Silvern lilies o’er her gleaming.
Wrapt the Saint in moonbeams bright,
Morning-like her altar beaming,
Golden roses it bedight.
Bright her shoes were, they were golden,
And in silver clad was she,
Gone those days, the goodly olden,
Ne’er such days again shall be.
Days when to our deathless glory,
In the wide world all around,
Men our fame in art and story
Bright as gold and silver found.
Many pilgrims there came wending
To Cecilia’s chapel fair;
Whence rang out those songs unending,
How that peal of organ there?
Once a fiddler there came sighing;
Ah, with grief was bowed his head;
Siow his footsteps, like one dying,
In his bag no gold, no bread.
There he sings a woful ditty,
And he plays his heart’s distress,
Till the Saint is filled with pity;
Hark, the rustling of her dress!
Smiling on the youth there singing,
Sweeter smile none ever drew,
Quick she Strips her right foot, flinging
Down to him her golden shoe.
To the nearest goldsmith hasting,
Goes he, thinks his luck immense,
Sings and dreams of merry feasting
When the shoe is changed for pence.
But the goldsmith says ’twas shocking
Saint Cecilia thus to wrong.
To the judge mid wrath and mocking
Off they drag the son of song.
Soon the judge the case dismisses,
Plain’t is in the justice-hall
That a case of thieving this is,
And no miracle at all.
Ah, thou son of song, now sorrow!
Thy last ditty thou hast sung!
On the gallows thou’lt to-morrow
Like a gallows’ bird be hung.
Hark, the chapel-bell is tinkling,
The procession has begun,
From the gallows in a twinkling
Thou wilt nearer see the sun.