“Pastor,” cried the frightened lad,
“Gertrude means the whole world to me,
But her singing is so bad—”
Faltering, and slightly dizzy
With the effort of his run,
Still the young man thought of Gertrude:
He would stay till he was done.
“Pastor, Gertrude sings at sunset,
And there’s bound to be a fight.
Though to me she’s like a sister,
Gertrude must not sing to-night!”

“Young man,” calmly spoke the pastor
When the boy had made his plea,
“I’d be very glad to help you,
But these things aren’t up to me.
It’s decided in committee
Who shall sing and who shall not.
It’s been done,” the pastor said,
“So don’t give it another thought.
Soon this evening, just at sunset,
Gertrude, in a gown of white,
Will begin her frightful noises:
Gertrude, she must sing to-night.”

Then the young man bounded forward,
Up toward the balcony.
Organ music started playing,
And, in white gown, there stood she!
Lo, the ponderous tongue is swaying:
Gertrude is beginning now,
And the sound has chilled his bosom,
Stopped his breath, and paled his brow.
Shall he let her sing? No, never!
Flash his eyes with sudden light,
As he springs and grasps her firmly—
“Gertrude shall not sing to-night!”

Gratefully the congregation
Greets him now with shouts of joy,
Saying, “What a noble lad, this!
My, but he’s a clever boy!”
On their shoulders he is carried,
Down the aisle and out the doors.
Comes the pastor running to him,
And affection from him pours.
“Though you may not be aware,
A great wrong you have set aright—
You,” he says, “have saved the evening:
Gertrude will not sing to-night!”