Page images

What buoyant spirit breathes the breath of

morn And earth's delight, Trumpets, O trumpets blest!

Great voices, born

Of consecrated gest, Across the ramparts ring and faint and fail!

O echoes, pressed

On some ethereal quest,
Touch all the joyance to a tearful dew,
With melancholy gathering o'er the blue -
Infinite hope, infinite sorrow, too!

And, heard, or guessed,
Sweet, sweet, O sweet and best,

Fall'n from some skyey crest,
O horns of heaven, give your hero hail,
Blown to him from the Kingdom of the Grail !

Harriet Prescott Spofford.


Low brooding cadences that dream and cry, Life's stress and passion echoing straight and

clear: Wild Aights of notes that clamor and beat

high Into the storm and battle, or drop sheer ;

Strange majesties of sound beyond all words Ringing on clouds and thunderous heights

sublime; Sad detonance of golden tones and chords That tremble with the secret of all time; O wrap me round; for one exulting hour Possess my soul, and I indeed shall know The wealth of living, the desire, the power, The tragic sweep, the Apollonian glow; All life shall stream before me; I shall see, With eyes unblanched, Time and Eternity.

Archibald Lampman.


Hast thou upon the idle branches hung,

O Lyre, this livelong day, Nor as the sweet wind through the rose-leaves

sung Uttered one dulcet lay? Come down, and by my rival touch be rung

As tenderly as they !

Did not Alcæus with blood-streaming hand

Range o'er his trembling wire,

"An imitation of Horace, Carm. I. 32.

Stealing forth sounds more eloquently bland

Than softness could desire, As if with myrtle bough sweet Venus fanned

His rapt Lesboan lyre?

And shall not I, that never will imbrue

This hand except in wine -
My battle-field a bed of violets blue,

Where conquered nymphs recline -
Shall not I wake the soul of sweetness too,
Thou gentle Lyre of mine?

George Darley.


There is many a simple song one hears,
To an outworn tune, that starts the tears ;
Not for itself — for the buried years.

Perchance 'twas heard in the days of youth, When breath was buoyant and words were

truth: When joys were peddled at Life's gay booth.

Or maybe it sounded along a lane
Where She walked with you — and now

again You catch Love's cadence, Love's old sweet


Or else it stole through a room where lay
A dear one dying, and seemed to say:
" Love and death, they shall pass away."

It rises out of the Long Ago,
And that is the reason it shakes you so
With pain and passion and buried woe.

There is many a simple song that brings From deeps of living, on viewless wings, The tender magic of bygone things.

Richard Burton.


Seated one day at the organ,

I was weary and ill at ease,
And my fingers wandered idly

Over the noisy keys.

I know not what I was playing,

Or what I was dreaming then, But I struck one chord of music

Like the sound of a great Amen.

It flooded the crimson twilight,

Like the close of an angel's psalm, And it lay on my fevered spirit

With a touch of infinite calm.

It quieted pain and sorrow,

Like love overcoming strife; It seemed the harmonious echo

From our discordant life.

It linked all perplexed meanings

Into one perfect peace,
And trembled away into silence,

As if it were loth to cease.

I have sought, but I seek it vainly,

That one lost chord divine, Which came from the soul of the organ

And entered into mine.

It may be that Death's bright angel

Will speak in that chord again;

« PreviousContinue »