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MUSIC

What angel viol, effortless and sure,
Speaks through the straining silence,

whence, ah whence,
That tremulous low joy, so keen, so pure,
That all existence narrows to one sense,

Lapped round and round

With rapture of sweet sound?
Oh, now it wins the giddy steep, and loud and

loud
Over the chasm and the cloud,
Swells its triumphant tide
Higher and higher, and undenied

Insistent to the star!
Then lowlier, softer, dreamful, droops and

dies

Over the closing eyes,
Dies with my spirit away, afar
Swayed on some ocean's breast

Dies into rest. Sir Rennell Rodd.

AFTER MUSIC

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

whence.

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.

MUSIC

(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
To corset her in contrapuntal rules.
Some rude half-octave of a shepherd's song,
Some childish strumming all the summer long
On sinews stretched across a tortoise-shell,
Such as they say Apollo loved so well;
Some squeaking flageolet or scrannel pipe,
Some lyre poetic of the banjo type, -
Such were the means she summoned to her

aid,
Prized as divine; on these she sang or played.
Music was then an infant, while she saw
Her sister arts full grown. Greece stood in

awe

Before the Phidian Jove. Apelles drew
And Zeuxis painted. Marble temples “grew
As grows the grass ”; and never saw the sun
A statelier vision than the Parthenon.

But she, the Muse who in these latter days
Lifts us and floats us in the golden haze
Of melodies and harmonies divine,
And steeps our souls and senses in such wine
As never Ganymede nor Hebe poured
For gods, when quaffing at the Olympian

board,

She, Heavenly Maid, must ply her music thin,
And sit and thrum her tinkling mandolin,
Chant her rude staves, and only prophesy
Her far-off days of immortality.

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

young;

But every rare and costly instrument
That skill can fabricate or art invent,
Pianos, organs, viols, horns, trombones,
Hautboys, and clarionets with reedy tones,
Boehm flutes and cornets, bugles, harps, bas-

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

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