Page images

Thy wonders in that godlike age,
Fill thy recording Sister's page-
'Tis said, and I believe the tale,
Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
Had more of strength, diviner rage,
That all which charms this laggard age ;
E'en all at once together found,
Cecilia's mingled world of sound,
O bid our vain endeavours cease :
Revive the just designs of Greece ;
Return in all thy simple state !
Confirm the tales her sons relate !



Of all the arts beneath the heaven,
That man has found, or God has given,
None draws the soul so sweet away,
As Music's melting mystic lay;
Slight emblem of the bliss above,
It soothes the spirit all to love.


THE painter's hues stand visible before us
In power and beauty; we can trace the thoughts
Which are the workings of the poet's mind :
But Music is a mystery, and viewless
Even when present, and is less man's act,
And less within his order; for the hand
That can call forth the tones, yet cannot tell
Whither they go, or if they live or die
When floated once beyond his feeble ear;
And then, as if it were an unreal thing,
The wind will sweep from the neglected strings
As rich a swell as ever minstrel drew.


My soul is an enchanted boat,

Which, like a sleeping swan, doth float
Upon the silver waves of thy sweet singing ;

And thine doth like an angel sit

Beside the helm, conducting it,
While all the winds with melody are ringing.

It seems to float ever, for ever
Upon that many winding river,
Between mountains, woods, abysses,
A paradise of wildernesses.



0, LULL me, lull me, charming air !

My senses rock with wonder sweet !
Like snow on wool thy fallings are;
Soft, like a spirit's, are thy feet.

Grief who need fear
That hath an ear?
Down let him lie,

And slumbering die,
And change his soul for harmony.


EVER against eating cares
Lap me in soft Lydian airs
Married to immortal verse,
Such as the meeting soul may pierce
In notes, with many a winding bout
Of linked sweetness long drawn out,
With wanton heed and giddy cunning,
The melting voice through mazes running,
Untwisting all the chains that tie
The hidden soul of harmony;
That Orpheus' self may heave his head
From golden slumber, on a bed
Of heap'd Elysian flowers, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free
His half-regain'd Eurydice.


Music by Moonlight.
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank !
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears ; soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica : look how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines* of bright gold;
There's not the smallest orb which thou beholdest,
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubim.
Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.


Golden Age of Harmony.
GOLDEN Age of Harmony,

Thou shalt from the Heaven descend,
Earth shall rise and welcome thee,

Man to man be angel-friend.
And the trumpets that blow when the battle's red star
Whelms the world with its blood as it bursts from afar ;

And the bugles that peal

To the crossing of steel, When the Demon of Wrath drives his scythe-armed car,

And the war-drums that roll

In the shock of the battle,
And the death-bells that toll

O’er men slaughter'd like cattle ;
And the death-smitten eyes that look up to the sun,
And see only the cannon-smoke darkling and dun;
And the lips that in dying hurl curses at those
Whom the Father made brethren, but evil made foes,
And the groans of the wounded, the moans of the dying,
The death-shot that scatters the ranks of the flying ;
Che wild, fierce hurrah, when the Fratricide host
Have driven their brethren to Hades red coast-

They shall cease, they shall cease,

For the angel of peace Shall whiten the Earth, not with bones of the slain, But with flowers for the garland, and sheaves for the wain.

HARRIS. * A small flat dish, used in the administration of the Eucharist.

Influence of Music.
OBPHETS, with his late, made trees,
And the mountain-tops that freeze,

Bow themselves when he did sing;
To bis music plants and flowers
Ever sprung-as sun and showers

There had made a lasting spring.

Every thing that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,

Hung their heads, and then lay by.
In sweet music is such art,
Killing care and grief of heart-
Fall asleep, or, hearing, die !


Village Bells. THERE is in souls a sympathy with sounds, And as the mind is pitch'd the ear is pleased, With melting airs or martial, brisk or grave; Some chord in unison with what we hear Is touch'd within us, and the heart replies. How soft the music of those village bells, Falling at intervals upon the ear In cadence sweet, now dying all away, Now pealing loud again, and louder still, Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on! With easy force it opens all the cells Where Memory slept. Wherever I have heard A kindred melody, the scene recurs, And with it all its pleasures and its pains.


The poet's Song of the Soul.
The human soul, like sweetest lyre,

Swept all night long by fairy fingers,
Impulses thoughts like jeweld fire,

While slumber on the eyelids lingers

The human soul is like a barge

Afloat on Slumber's mystic ocean,
That drifts into the heavenly marge,

And sways to Life's enchanted motion.

The human soul is like the tongue

That tells in sleep Life's hidden story,
But wakes to hear its music sung
By listening seraphs in their glory.


The Phantom Ship. The breeze had sunk to rest, the noonday-sun was high, And Ocean's breath lay motionless beneath a cloudless sky. There was silence in the air, there was silence in the deep; And it seem'd as though the burning calm were Nature's final


The mid-day watch was set, beneath the blaze of light,
When there came a cry from the tall mast-head, “A sail! a

sail, in sight!” And o'er the fair horizon, a snowy speck appeard, And every eye was strain'd to watch the vessel as she near'd.

There was no breath of air, yet she bounded on her way,
And the dancing waves around her prow were flashing into

spray. She answer'd not their hail, alongside as she pass'd: There were none who trod her spacious deck; not a seaman

on the mast;

No hand to guide her helm; yet on she held her course,
She swept along that waveless sea, as with a tempest's force :
A silence as of death was o'er that vessel spread:
She seem'd a thing of another world, the world where dwell the


She pass'd away from sight, the deadly calm was o'er,
And the spell-bound ship pursued her course before the breeze

once more; And clouds across the sky obscured the noonday sun, And the winds arose at the tempest's call before the day was


« PreviousContinue »