Sheet Music from May. 1, 1865

The Assassin's Vision

  • Full Title

    The Assassin's Vision

  • Description

    A song for medium or low voice and piano that describes the escape of President Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. The lyrics convey that God will seek vengeance on the assassin, who will be haunted by his actions. The song has three verses that each utilize the exact same piano accompaniment, however the vocal line has slight rhythmic variations from verse to verse. The composer's note reads: "This Ballad was suggested on seeing the representation of the assassin BOOTH wildly fleeing through the forest on his horse, startled by the apparition of his victim appearing in the trees & around him." Part of the Library of Congress Civil War Sheet Music Collection, associated with the Union side.

  • Transcription

    Verse 1
    The Assassin rode on his fiery steed,
    His murd'rous work was done
    In the darksome night with fleeting speed,
    Through woods his cours-'er run!
    As he hurried away from the scene of death,
    On his death, On his brow were looks of despair;
    Before him! around him! The evenings breath
    Told him God's vengeance was there!

    Verse 2
    The pale moon beamed as onward he fled,
    The stars looked down from on high,
    The hills and valleys were crimson red
    As blood to the murd'rer's eye!
    He shuddered! he trembled! And oft looked around,
    And dreary seemed each passing breeze,
    And lo! the assassin bound
    Saw a vision appear in the trees.

    Verse 3
    Heaven had witnessed! he could not escape!
    The assassin's fate was sealed--
    "Vengeance is mine!" saith God in his might,
    As the vision that night revealed.
    The assassin rode on with trembling and fear,
    And mournfully murmur'd the breeze;
    Before him! around him! all vivid and drear,
    The vision appeared in the trees.

  • Source

    Library of Congress Classification M1640.T

  • Rights

    Public Domain. Suggested credit line: Civil War Sheet Music Collection, Library of Congress, Music Division.

  • Tags

  • Cite this Item

    Turner, J. W. (composer & lyricist). "The Assassin's Vision". Cleveland: S. Branard's Sons, 1865. Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed April 1, 2023.