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All through my soul that praised as its wish flowed visibly forth,
All through music and me! For think, had I painted the whole,
Why, there it had stood, to see, nor the process so wonder-worth:
Had I written the same, made verse-still, effect proceeds from cause,
Ye know why the forms are fair, ye hear how the tale is told;
It is all triumphant art, but art in obedience to laws, Painter and poet are proud in the artist-list enrolled:
But here is the finger of God, a flash of the will that can, Existent hehind all laws, that made them and, lo, they are!
And I know not if, save in this, such gift be allowed
That out of three sounds he frame, not a fourth sound,
but a star.
Consider it well: each tone of our scale in itself is nought;
It is everywhere in the world-loud, soft, and all is said: Give it to me to use! I mix it with two in my thought: And, there! Ye have heard and seen: consider and bow the head!
Well, it is gone at last, the palace of music I reared; Gone! and the good tears start, the praises that come too slow;
For one is assured at first, one scarce can say that he feared,
That he even gave it a thought, the gone thing was to go.
Never to be again! But many more of the kind
As good, nay, better perchance: is this your comfort to me?
To me, who must be saved because I cling with my mind
To the same, same self, same love, same God: ay, what was, shall be.
Therefore to whom turn I but to thee, the ineffable Name?
Builder and maker, thou, of houses not made with hands!
What, have fear of change from thee who art ever the same?
Doubt that thy power can fill the heart that thy power expands?
There shall never be one lost good! What was, shall live as before;
The evil is null, is nought, is silence implying sound; What was good shall be good, with, for evil, so much good more;
On the earth the broken arcs; in the heaven, a perfect round.
All we have willed or hoped or dreamed of good shall exist;
Not its semblance, but itself; no beauty, nor good, nor power
Whose voice has gone forth, but each survives for the melodist
When eternity affirms the conception of an hour. The high that proved too high, the heroic for earth too hard,
The passion that left the ground to lose itself in the sky,
Are music sent up to God by the lover and the bard; Enough that he heard it once: we shall hear it byand-by.
And what is our failure here but a triumph's evidence For the fulness of the days? Have we withered or agonized?
Why else was the pause prolonged but that singing might issue thence?
Why rushed the discords in but that harmony should be prized?
Sorrow is hard to bear, and doubt is slow to clear,
Each sufferer says his say, his scheme of the weal and woe:
But God has a few of us whom he whispers in the ear; The rest my reason and welcome: 'tis we musicians know.
Well, it is earth with me; silence resumes her reign:
I will be patient and proud, and soberly acquiesce. Give me the keys. I feel for the common chord again, Sliding by semitones, till I sink to the minor,-yes, And I blunt it into a ninth, and I stand on alien ground, Surveying awhile the heights I rolled from into the deep;
Which, hark, I have dared and done, for my restingplace is found,
The C Major of this life: so, now I will try to sleep.
RABBI BEN EZRA.
[Dramatis Personæ 1864.]
GROW old along with me!
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith "A whole I planned,
"Youth shows but half; trust God: see all nor be afraid!"
Not that, amassing flowers,
Youth sighed "Which rose make ours,
"Which lily leave and then as best recall?" Not that, admiring stars,
It yearned "Nor Jove, nor Mars;
"Mine be some figured flame which blends, transcends them all!"
Not for such hopes and fears
Do I remonstrate: folly wide the mark!
Rather I prize the doubt
Finished and finite clods, untroubled by a spark.
Poor vaunt of life indeed,
Were man but formed to feed
On joy, to solely seek and find and feast:
Such feasting ended, then
As sure an end to men;
Irks care the crop-full bird? Frets doubt the mawcrammed beast?
Rejoice we are allied
To That which doth provide
And not partake, effect and not receive!
A spark disturbs our clod;
Who gives, than of His tribes that take, I must believe.
Then, welcome each rebuff
That turns earth's smoothness rough,
Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go!
Strive, and hold cheap the strain;
Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe!
For thence, a paradox
Which comforts while it mocks,
Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail:
And whas not, comforts me:
A brute I might have been, but would not sink i' the scale.
What is he but a brute
Whose flesh has soul to suit,
Whose spirit works lest arms and legs want play?
How far can that project thy soul on its lone way?
Yet gifts should prove their use:
Of power each side, perfection every turn:
Eyes, ears took in their dole,
Brain treasured up the whole;
Should not the heart beat once "How good to live and
Not once beat "Praise be Thine!
"I, who saw power, see now love perfect too:
"Maker, remake, complete,-I trust what Thou shalt do!"
For pleasant is this flesh;
Pulled ever to the earth, still yearns for rest;
Would we some prize might hold
Possessions of the brute,-gain most, as we did best!
Let us not always say