LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 395
He struck a few majestic chords, and began singing that grand old Latin piece, the " Dies Irse."
Tom, who was listening in the outer veranda, was drawn by the sound to the very door, where he stood earnestly. He did not understand the words, of course; but the music and manner of singing appeared to affect him strongly, especially when St. Clare sang the more pathetic parts. Tom would have sympathized more heartily, if he had known the meaning of the beautiful words: —
" Recordare Jesu pie
Quod sum causa tuse viae
Ne me perdas, ilia die ;
Quaerens me sedisti lassus,
Redemisti crucem passus,
Tantus labor non sit cassus." 1
St. Clare threw a deep and pathetic expression into the words; for the shadowy veil of years seemed drawn away, and he seemed to hear his mother's voice leading his. Voice and instrument seemed both living, and threw out with vivid sympathy those strains which the ethereal Mozart first conceived as his own dying requiem.
When St. Clare had done singing, he sat leaning his head upon his hand a few moments, and then began walking up and down the floor.
" What a sublime conception is that of a last judgment ! " said he, — "a righting of all the wrongs of ages ! — a solving of all moral problems, by an unanswerable wisdom! It is, indeed, a wonderful image."
" It is a fearful one to us," said Miss Ophelia.
" It ought to be to me, I suppose," said St. Clare, stopping thoughtfully. "I was reading to Tom, this
1 These lines have been thus rather inadequately translated; —
" Think, O Jesus, for what reason Thou endured'st earth's spite and treason, Nor me lose, in that dread season ; Seeking me, thy worn feet hasted, On the cross thy soul death tasted, Let not all these toils be wasted."