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- Music and Other Poems - 2/10 -


Forget, forget,-- And if thou hast been weeping, Let go the thoughts that bind thee to thy grief: Lie still, and watch the singing angels, reaping The golden harvest of thy sorrow, sheaf by sheaf; Or count thy joys like flocks of snow-white sheep That one by one come creeping Into the quiet fold, until thou sleep, And so forget, forget!

Forget, forget,-- Thou art a child and knowest So little of thy life! But music tells One secret of the world thro' which thou goest To work with morning song, to rest with evening bells: Life is in tune with harmony so deep That when the notes are lowest Thou still canst lay thee down in peace and sleep, For God will not forget.

VI

HUNTING SONG

Out of the garden of playtime, out of the bower of rest, Fain would I follow at daytime, music that calls to a quest. Hark, how the galloping measure Quickens the pulses of pleasure; Gaily saluting the morn With the long clear note of the hunting-horn Echoing up from the valley, Over the mountain side,-- Rally, you hunters, rally, Rally, and ride!

Drink of the magical potion music has mixed with her wine, Full of the madness of motion, joyful, exultant, divine! Leave all your troubles behind you, Ride where they never can find you, Into the gladness of morn, With the long, clear note of the hunting-horn, Swiftly o'er hillock and hollow, Sweeping along with the wind,-- Follow, you hunters, follow, Follow and find!

What will you reach with your riding? What is the charm of the chase? Just the delight and the striding swing of the jubilant pace. Danger is sweet when you front her,-- In at the death, every hunter! Now on the breeze the mort is borne In the long, clear note of the hunting-horn, Winding merrily, over and over,-- Come, come, come! Home again, Ranger! home again, Rover! Turn again, home!

VII

DANCE-MUSIC

Now let the sleep-tune blend with the play-tune, Weaving the mystical spell of the dance; Lighten the deep tune, soften the gay tune, Mingle a tempo that turns in a trance. Half of it sighing, half of it smiling, Smoothly it swings, with a triplicate beat; Calling, replying, yearning, beguiling, Wooing the heart and bewitching the feet. Every drop of blood Rises with the flood, Rocking on the waves of the strain; Youth and beauty glide Turning with the tide-- Music making one out of twain, Bearing them away, and away, and away, Like a tone and its terce-- Till the chord dissolves, and the dancers stay, And reverse.

Violins leading, take up the measure, Turn with the tune again,--clarinets clear Answer their pleading,--harps full of pleasure Sprinkle their silver like light on the mere. Semiquaver notes, Merry little motes, Tangled in the haze Of the lamp's golden rays, Quiver everywhere In the air, Like a spray,-- Till the fuller stream of the might of the tune, Gliding like a dream in the light of the moon, Bears them all away, and away, and away, Floating in the trance of the dance.

Then begins a measure stately, Languid, slow, serene; All the dancers move sedately, Stepping leisurely and straitly, With a courtly mien; Crossing hands and changing places, Bowing low between, While the minuet inlaces Waving arms and woven paces,-- Glittering damaskeen. Where is she whose form is folden In its royal sheen? >From our longing eyes withholden By her mystic girdle golden, Beauty sought but never seen, Music walks the maze, a queen.

VIII

THE SYMPHONY

Music, they do thee wrong who say thine art Is only to enchant the sense. For every timid motion of the heart, And every passion too intense To bear the chain of the imperfect word, And every tremulous longing, stirred By spirit winds that come we know not whence And go we know not where, And every inarticulate prayer Beating about the depths of pain or bliss, Like some bewildered bird That seeks its nest but knows not where it is, And every dream that haunts, with dim delight, The drowsy hour between the day and night, The wakeful hour between the night and day,-- Imprisoned, waits for thee, Impatient, yearns for thee, The queen who comes to set the captive free Thou lendest wings to grief to fly away, And wings to joy to reach a heavenly height; And every dumb desire that Storms within the breast Thou leadest forth to sob or sing itself to rest.

All these are thine, and therefore love is thine. For love is joy and grief, And trembling doubt, and certain-sure belief, And fear, and hope, and longing unexpressed, In pain most human, and in rapture brief Almost divine. Love would possess, yet deepens when denied; And love would give, yet hungers to receive; Love like a prince his triumph would achieve; And like a miser in the dark his joys would hide. Love is most bold: He leads his dreams like armed men in line; Yet when the siege is set, and he must speak, Calling the fortress to resign Its treasure, valiant love grows weak, And hardly dares his purpose to unfold. Less with his faltering lips than with his eyes He claims the longed-for prize: Love fain would tell it all, yet leaves the best untold.

But thou shalt speak for love. Yea, thou shalt teach The mystery of measured tone, The Pentecostal speech That every listener heareth as his own. For on thy head the cloven tongues of fire,-- Diminished chords that quiver with desire, And major chords that glow with perfect peace,-- Have fallen from above; And thou canst give release In music to the burdened heart of love.

Sound with the 'cellos' pleading, passionate strain The yearning theme, and let the flute reply In placid melody, while violins complain, And sob, and sigh, With muted string; Then let the oboe half-reluctant sing Of bliss that trembles on the verge of pain, While 'cellos plead and plead again, With throbbing notes delayed, that would impart To every urgent tone the beating of the heart. So runs the andante, making plain The hopes and fears of love without a word.

Then comes the adagio, with a yielding theme Through which the violas flow soft as in a dream, While horns and mild bassoons are heard In tender tune, that seems to float Like an enchanted boat Upon the downward-gliding stream, Toward the allegro's wide, bright sea Of dancing, glittering, blending tone, Where every instrument is sounding free, And harps like wedding-chimes are rung, and trumpets blown Around the barque of love That sweeps, with smiling skies above, A royal galley, many-oared,


Music and Other Poems - 2/10

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