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What angel viol, effortless and sure,
whence, ah whence,
Lapped round and round
With rapture of sweet sound?
Insistent to the star!
Over the closing eyes,
Dies into rest. Sir Rennell Rodd.
I saw not they were strange, the ways I roam,
Until the music called, and called me thence, And tears stirred in my heart as tears may
come To lonely children straying far from home, Who know not how they wandered so, nor
If I might follow far and far away
Unto the country where these songs abide, I think my soul would wake and find it day, Would tell me who I am, and why I stray, Would tell me who I was before I died.
Josephine Preston Peabody.
(Read at the Annual Dinner of the Harvard Musical Association, Boston, January 28, 1874.)
When “Music, Heavenly Maid," was very
young, She did not sing as poets say she sung. Unlike the mermaids of the fairy-tales, She paid but slight attentions to her scales. Besides, poor thing! she had no instruments But such as rude barbaric art invents. There were no Steinways then, no Chicker
ings, No spinnets, harpsichords, or metal strings;
No hundred-handed orchestras, no schools
Before the Phidian Jove. Apelles drew
But she, the Muse who in these latter days
She, Heavenly Maid, must ply her music thin,
E'en so poor Cinderella, when she cowered Beside her hearth, and saw her sisters, dow
ered With grace and wealth, go to accomplish all Their haughty triumphs at the Prince's ball, While she in russet gown sat mournfully Singing her “Once a king there chanced to
be," Yet knows her prince will come; her splendid
days Are all foreshadowed in her dreaming gaze. Then, as the years and centuries rolled on, Like Santa Clauses they have come and gone, Bringing all means of utterance to the Muse. No penny-trumpets, such as children use, No barbarous Indian drums, no twanging
lutes, No buzzing Jew's-harps, no Pandean flutes, Were stuffed into her stockings, though they
hung On Time's great chimney, as when she was
But every rare and costly instrument
soons, Huge double-basses, kettle-drum half-moons, And every queer contrivance made for tunes.
Through these the master-spirits round her
throng, And Europe rings with instruments and song. Through these she breathes her wondrous sym
phonies, Enchanting airs, and choral litanies. Through these she speaks the word that never
dies, The universal language of the skies. Around her gather those who held their art To be of life the dearest, noblest part. Bach, Handel, Haydn, and Mozart are there; Beethoven, chief of all. The southern air Is ringing with Rossini's birdlike notes; About the north more earnest music floats, Where Weber, Schumann, Schubert, Mendels
sohn, And long processions of the lords of Tone