Page images
PDF
EPUB

My soul went up the blue — the sweetest pain,
The deepest passion, love without a stain,
A high and holy yearning that had lain
Buried, did come in a white company,
In tremulous procession, unto me.
For an immortal moment I was free
O'the flesh, and leaped in spirit and was

strong With beauty, shaken by magic of that song.

Richard Burton.

THE VIOLIN

Before the listening world behold him stand; The warm air trembles with his passionate

play; Their cheers shower round him like the

ocean spray Round one who waits upon the stormy strand. Their smiles, sighs, tears, all are at his com

mand; And now they hear the trump of judgment

day, And now one silver note to heaven doth

stray And fluttering fall upon the golden sand.

But like the murmur of the distant sea
Their loud applause, and far-off, faint, and

weak Sounds his own music to him, wild and

free Far from the soul of music that doth speak

In wordless wail and lyric ecstasy From that good viol pressed against his cheek.

Richard Watson Gilder.

A VIOLINIST

The lark above our heads doth know
A heaven we see not here below;
She sees it, and for joy she sings;
Then falls with ineffectual wings.

Ah! soaring soul! faint not nor tire!
Each heaven attained reveals a higher.
Thy thought is of thy failure; we
List raptured, and thank God for thee.

Francis William Bourdillon.

SCHUMANN'S SONATA IN A MINOR

(Mit Leidenschaftlichem Ausdruck)

The quiet room, the flowers, the perfumed

calm, The slender crystal vase, where all aflame The scarlet poppies stand erect and tall,

Color that burns as if no frost could tame, The shaded lamplight glowing over all, The summer night a dream of warmth and

balm.

Out breaks at once the golden melody, “With passionate expression !” Ah, from

whence Comes the enchantment of this potent spell, This charm that takes us captive, soul and

sense? The sacred power of music, who shall tell,

Who find the secret of its mastery?

Lo, in the keen vibration of the air

Pierced by the sweetness of the violin, Shaken by thrilling chords and searching That flood the ivory keys, the flowers begin To tremble; 'tis as if some spirit floats

notes

And breathes upon their beauty unaware.

The stately poppies, proud in stillness, stand

In silken splendor of superb attire: Stricken with arrows of melodious sound,

Their loosened petals fall like flakes of fire; With

of music overwhelmed and drowned, Solemnly drop their flames on either hand,

waves

So the rich moment dies, and what is left?

Only a memory sweet, to shut between Some poem's silent leaves, to find again, Perhaps, when winter blasts are howling

keen, And summer's loveliness is spoiled and slain,

And all the world of light and bloom bereft.

But winter cannot rob the music so!

Nor time nor fate its subtle power destroy To bring again the summer's dear caress, To wake the heart to youth's unreasoning

joy,

Sound, color, perfume, love, to warm and

bless, And airs of balm from Paradise that blow.

Celia Thaxter.

THE ÆOLIAN HARP

And that simplest lute Placed lengthways in the clasping casement,

hark! How by the desultory breeze caressed, Like some coy maid half yielding to her lover, It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs Tempt to repeat the wrong! And now, its

strings Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes Over delicious surges sink and rise; Such a soft floating witchery of sound As twilight Elfins make, when they at eve Voyage on gentle gales from Fairy-land, Where Melodies round honey-dropping flow

ers, Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise, Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untamed

wing! O the one life within us and abroad,

« PreviousContinue »