Lorena’s Reply

Lorena’s Reply

Lorena’s Reply (also known as Paul Vane), Is A Sequel To Lorena

Lorena was a very popular love song of the Civil War. For the background of the song Lorena, please see this post: Lorena.

Here is Lorena’s Reply, it was also written by Reverend H. D. L. Webster and was published in 1863, six years after Lorena.

“Lorena’s Reply” Lyrics

By Henry DeLafayette Webster, 1824-1896.

The years are creeping slowly by, dear Paul
The winters come and go:
The wind sweeps past, with mournful cry, dear Paul,
And pelt my face with snow;
But there’s no snow upon the heart, dear Paul,
‘Tis Summer always there;
Those early loves throw sunshine over all,
And sweeten mem’ries dear!

I thought it easy to forget, dear Paul,
Life glow’d with youthful hope:
The glorious future gleamed yet, dear Paul,
And bade us clamber up.
They, frowning, said: it must not — cannot be:
Break, now, the hopeless bands!
And, Paul, you know how well, that bitter day,
I bent to their commands!

I’ve kept you ever in my heart, dear Paul,
Thro’ years of good and ill;
Our SOULS could not be torn apart, dear Paul,
They’re bound together still.
I never knew how dear you were to me,
‘Till I was left alone;
I thought my poor, poor heart would break, the day
They told me you were gone.

Perhaps we’ll never, never meet, dear Paul,
Upon this earth again!
But THERE where happy Angels greet, dear Paul,
You’ll meet Lorena there.
Together, up the ever-shining way,
We’ll press with hoping heart
Together thro’ the bright eternal day,
And never more to part!




One Of The Most Popular Songs During The Civil War

Lorena was published in 1857, and it became one of the most popular songs of the Civil War. This song was a special favorite of the Confederates. Lorena has a beautiful melody and the lyrics are by Reverend H. D. L. Webster, but the actual origin of this song is uncertain. With the success of Lorena, many babies, towns, and at least one steamship, were named Lorena.

Following is a rendition of Lorena arranged and recorded by Tom Roush. It is quite good, although careful readers and listeners will notice that Roush’s version varies somewhat from the lyrics presented in this post.

Lorena by Tom Roush

Visit Tom Roush’s website – he has CDs of his great Civil War music for sale.

The years creep slowly by, Lorena
The snow is on the grass again
The sun’s low down the sky, Lorena
The frost gleams where the flowers have been
But the heart throbs on as warmly now
As when the summer days were nigh
Oh, the sun can never dip so low
A-down affection’s cloudless sky.

A hundred months have passed, Lorena
Since last I held that hand in mine
And felt the pulse beat fast, Lorena
Though mine beat faster far than thine
A hundred months…’twas flowery May
When up the hilly slope we climbed
To watch the dying of the day
And hear the distant church bells chime.

We loved each other then, Lorena
More than we ever dared to tell
And what we might have been, Lorena
Had but our loving prospered well
But then, ’tis past, the years have gone
I’ll not call up their shadowy forms
I’ll say to them, “Lost years, sleep on
Sleep on, nor heed life’s pelting storms.”

The story of the past, Lorena
Alas! I care not to repeat
The hopes that could not last, Lorena
They lived, but only lived to cheat
I would not cause e’en one regret
To rankle in your bosom now
“For if we try we may forget”
Were words of thine long years ago.

Yes, these were words of thine, Lorena
They are within my memory yet
They touched some tender chords, Lorena
Which thrill and tremble with regret
‘Twas not the woman’s heart which spoke
Thy heart was always true to me
A duty stern and piercing broke
The tie which linked my soul with thee.

It matters little now, Lorena
The past is in the eternal past
Our hearts will soon lie low, Lorena
Life’s tide is ebbing out so fast
There is a future, oh, thank God!
Of life this is so small a part
‘Tis dust to dust beneath the sod
But there, up there, ’tis heart to heart.