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Title: Purcell Ode and Other Poems
Author: Bridges, Robert
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                              Purcell Ode

                            And Other Poems



                              Purcell Ode

                            And Other Poems

                                  By
                            Robert Bridges

                       [Illustration: colophon]

                                Chicago
                            Way & Williams
                                 1896


                               COPYRIGHT
                           BY WAY & WILLIAMS

                               MDCCCXCVI

                           University Press:
               JOHN WILSON AND SON, CAMBRIDGE, U. S. A.



            Two Hundred Copies printed on Van Gelder paper.



CONTENTS


                          PAGE

ODE TO MUSIC                29

THE FAIR BRASS              42

NOVEMBER                    45

THE SOUTH WIND              49

WINTER NIGHTFALL            53



PREFACE


The words of the Ode as here given differ slightly from those which
appeared with Dr. Parry’s Cantata, sung at the Leeds Festival and at the
Purcell Commemoration in London last year.

Since the poem was never perfected as a musical ode,--and I was not in
every particular responsible for it,--I have tried to make it more
presentable to readers, and in so doing have disregarded somewhat its
original intention. But it must still ask indulgence, because it still
betrays the liberties and restrictions which seemed to me proper in an
attempt to meet the requirements of modern music.

It is a current idea that, by adopting a sort of declamatory treatment,
it is possible to give to almost any poem a satisfactory musical
setting;[1] whence it would follow that a non-literary form is a
needless extravagance. From this general condemnation I wish to defend
my poem, or rather my judgment, for I do not intend to discuss or defend
my poem in detail, nor to try to explain what I hoped to accomplish when
I engaged in the work; it is still further from my intention that
anything which I shall say should be taken as applying to the music with
which my ode was, far beyond its deserts, honored and beautified. But I
am concerned in combating the general proposition that modern music, by
virtue of a declamatory method, is able satisfactorily to interpret
almost any kind of good poetry.

Such questions are generally left to the musician, and it should not be
unwelcome to hear what may be said on the literary side. I shall
therefore state what appear to me to be impediments in the way of this
announced happy marriage of music and poetry, and enumerate some of the
difficulties which, it seems to me, must especially beset the musician
who would attempt to interpret pure literature by musical declamation.

First, the repetitions in music and poetry are incompatible. Though some
simple forms dependent on repetition are common to both, yet the general
laws are in the two arts contraries. In poetry repetition is avoided, in
music it is looked for. A musical phrase has its force and significance
increased by repetition, and is often in danger of losing its
significance unless it be repeated; whereas such a repetition in poetry
is likely to endanger the whole effect of the original statement. And
when reiterations that can be compared occur in both, then the second
occurrence will in music be generally the strongest, but in poetry the
weakest; and the intensity of the repetitions goes on decreasing in
music, and increasing for some time in poetry, till both become
intolerable.

Secondly, the difficulty which this difference occasions is much
increased by the method of declamatory exposition. Musical declamation
must mean that the musical phrase is not chosen, as the earlier
musicians might have chosen or invented it, chiefly for the sake of its
own musical beauty, in correspondence with the _mood_[2] of the words,
and merely fitting the syllables, but that it is invented also to follow
the verbal phrase in correspondence with some notion of rhetorical
utterance, or natural inflection of speech enforcing the sense, and in
so far with lesser regard to its own purely musical value. Such a
musical phrase will therefore, in proportion to its success, be more
closely associated with the words, and cannot well be repeated unless
the words are repeated, which the declamation forbids.

Thirdly, when a declamatory musical movement is once started, the
musician has very few means of bringing it to a conclusion. There is the
method of repetition, which does not suit the Ode,[3] and which on his
own theory he is almost forbidden to use; and there is the method of
rising to a climax, which is perhaps the most usual device: but few
poems can offer occasion for the recurrence of climax, and its
employment would break up an ode into artificial sections, which the
poet must repudiate. In pure music the musician has invented many
beautiful devices, but in choral music he has not yet shown, so far as I
know, any power to match the poet’s liberty in this respect, whose
resources are as various as numerous, and are comparable to the freedom
and caprices of a dancer, who can at any moment surprise by a gesture,
and be still.

Fourthly, the very rhythms of poetry and choral music are different in
kind. The rhythms and balances of verse are unbarred, the rhythms of
choral music are barred. Even the universally recognized fitness of the
interpretation of a common measure in verse by the corresponding common
measure in music depends much more on the power and satisfying
completeness of the musical form in itself than on any right relation
which obtains between words and music under these conditions. Where the
poetry has a more elaborated rhythm there are two extremes, between
which the musician’s manner of setting must lie. One extreme, the
musical, is that he should disregard the poetic rhythm for the sake of
new musical ideas, which must of course add beauty and not do violence
to the words: the other is that he should follow the elaborate poetic
rhythm as nearly as possible. The method of declamation takes this
latter extreme; it forbids musical independence, and prefers to identify
itself with the poetic rhythm, which in good poetry represents an ideal
cadence of speech: but this interpretation is really a convention and a
make-believe, and at best only an ingenious translation; and though it
may often be desirable, and the occasion of true musical beauty, yet its
exclusive use is an abnegation of musical spontaneity for the sake of a
secondary, mediate form, conspicuously dependent on something
extraneous, and giving prominence to ingenuity rather than to pure
æsthetic beauty, so as to provoke criticism rather than unquestioning
delight.

Fifthly, the most beautiful effects in poetry are obtained by
suggestion. A certain disposition of ideas in words produces a whole
result quite out of proportion to the parts; and if it is asked what
music can do best, it is something in this same way of indefinite
suggestion. Poetry is here the stronger, in that its suggestion is more
definitely directed; Music is the stronger in the greater force of the
emotion raised. It would seem, therefore, that music could have no more
fit and congenial task than to heighten the emotion of some great poetic
beauty, the direction of which is supplied by the words. But if it seeks
to do this by a method of declamation, it makes this double mistake.
First it tries to enforce the poetic means, which it may be assumed are
already on full strain, and in exact balance, and will not bear the
least disturbance; and secondly, it renounces its own highest power of
stirring emotion, because that resides in pure musical beauty, and is
dependent on its mysterious quality: for one may say that its power is
in proportion to its remoteness from common direct understanding, and
that just so far as its sounds are understood to mean something definite
they lose their highest emotional power. It would follow from this that
the best musical treatment of passages of great poetic beauty is not to
declaim them, but, as it were, to woo them and court them and caress
them, and deck them with fresh musical beauties, approaching them
tenderly now on one side, now on another, and to keep a delicate
reserve which shall leave their proper unity unmolested.

Sixthly, if this is true of the highest poetic beauty, how will the
declamatory method fare when it has to deal with the commonplaces and
bare or even ugly words which are the weaknesses and unkindnesses of
language? Just when the poet must deplore that his material is not more
musical, it cannot be the musician’s triumph to insist on the defect.
The ordinary monosyllabic exclamations are a sufficient example; there
is absolutely no declamatory rendering of these which is at all worthy
of the emotion which they must often be employed to convey. What can be
made of them by a purely musical treatment is seen in the long-drawn
melodious sighs with which Carissimi or Purcell interpreted the Ohs and
Ahs.

Seventhly, this leads to the more general remark that the inflections of
all speech are much more limited in character, number, and scope than
those of the trained singing voice. Whence it comes that the imitations
of speech in declamatory music have a tendency to fall into a
comparatively small number of forms, which, even when most skilfully
disguised, are easily recognized by an attentive ear, and soon weary
with their sameness. The basis of declamatory music is in fact no
broader than that of the old _recitativo secco_, and it would seem
unreasonable to hope that any ingenuity in the superstructure can long
disguise this, or save itself ultimately from the same condemnation.

Eighthly, in consideration of the commonest difficulties which arise in
setting to music words which have not been specially contrived for it,
it appears that, compared with a more purely musical way, the
declamatory method is absolutely at a disadvantage. It can do nothing
with parentheses or dependent clauses. The weak polysyllables, which
have fit place in the diction and rhythm of verse, may be helped out by
convention or by pure musical distraction; but declamation can only make
them ugly. And as those for their weakness of sound, so other words
unable for their sense to bear the stress of singing,--such as
metaphorical words of slight meaning, which in poetry contribute but a
part of themselves to the main idea,--these declamation would make
ridiculous. Nor, on the other hand, with the words and phrases which are
generally held most suitable for music is the declamatory method any
richer or happier: these are the well-sounding words of broad meaning
and their common collocations, which require a fresh imagination to
revivify them. But the musician was always at his ease with these words,
because his music was free to adorn them with any quantity of
enrichment; and this commanded the attention the more completely when
the words required none. Now, if they are to be declaimed, they must
return to their old prosaic nakedness; and since the attention is to be
called to them, they will be even worse off than ever.

The above remarks are sufficient for my purpose; but so many negations
may provoke the reader to look for some positive indication of the
writer’s opinion as to what sort of words are best suited for music, and
what sort of setting they should have. This question is far too wide to
be treated summarily; and if it has not been given to me to assist in
solving it practically, I cannot venture to meddle with it further. I
had hoped, as a matter of fact, to contrive something; but it seems to
me that the musician’s difficulty in advancing towards a solution is
much increased by the necessity of pleasing large audiences. It is
certain that the final appeal is not to the first hearing of any large
audience in this country. What sort of music is really in request may be
judged from the repertories of our military bands and the programmes of
the Royal concerts. Even the highest class concerts I have seen
interlarded with unworthy items, which were rapturously received by the
fashionable hearers who did not recognize the trap.

    “The man that hath no music in himself
     Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;”

and these were the stratagems to obtain his spoils.

It is possible enough that an audience may enjoy having commonplaces
vociferated at them with orchestral accompaniment; but this is nothing.
To the musician the poet will say that he is surprised to find a term
which is considered a reproach in poetry esteemed as the expression of
the best means of its interpretation. To call a poem declamatory or
rhetorical is to condemn it; and music is naturally less rhetorical than
speech; so that in a declamatory interpretation of poetry Music would
seem to abnegate its own excellence for the sake of a quality foreign to
itself and repudiated by the art which it is seeking to heighten.

He will not be satisfied by the assurance that the method will serve to
introduce and explain poetry to some people who are generally
indifferent to it; it will seem to him that the musician is laboring to
introduce into pure vocal music the old dramatic crux,--that awkwardness
from which it has, in its best forms, been beautifully free. Because in
the musical drama that must be sung which should be spoken, why try to
make that seem to be spoken which should be sung?



ANALYSIS OF ODE.


This analysis is taken from the concert programme:--

I. An invitation to Music to return to England: that is, in the sense
that England should be again pre-eminent for music above other European
nations, as she was in the sixteenth century. The three English graces
are Liberty, Poetry, and Music.

II. Music invited in the name of Liberty: the idea associated with the
forest.

III. Music invited in the name of Poetry: the idea of Poetry associated
with pastoral scenes and husbandry.

IV. The Sea introduced as the type of Love; isolating our patriotism,
and making our bond with the rest of the world.

V. The national intention gives way to wider human sympathies. Music
here considered as the voice of Universal Love, calling and responding
throughout the world. A national meaning also underlies, in respect of
our world-wide colonization.

VI. Sorrow now invites Music; asserting her need to be the chiefest. The
occasion being the celebration of Purcell’s genius, her complaint
implies a call for some musical lament for his untimely death.

VII. Music replies with a DIRGE for the dead artist; offering no
consolation beyond the expression of woe.

VIII. The chorus consoled, praise dead artists, and pronounce them happy
and immortal.

IX. A picture of the ideal world of delight created by Art.

X. The invocation repeated, with the idea of responsibility of our
colonization.



ODE TO MUSIC

WRITTEN FOR THE BICENTENARY COMMEMORATION
OF

HENRY PURCELL



ODE TO MUSIC

_Written for the Bicentenary Commemoration of Henry Purcell._


I.

    Myriad-voicèd Queen, Enchantress of the air,
    Bride of the life of man! with tuneful reed,
    With string and horn and high-adoring quire
    Thy welcome we prepare.
    In silver-speaking mirrors of desire,
    In joyous ravishment of mystery draw thou near;
    With heavenly echo of thoughts, that dreaming lie
    Chain’d in unborn oblivion drear,
    Thy many-hearted grace restore
    Unto our isle our own to be,
    And make again our Graces three.


II.

    Turn, oh, return! In merry England
    Foster’d thou wert with infant Liberty.
    Her hallowed oaks that stand
    With trembling leaves and giant heart
    Drinking in beauty from the summer moon,
    Her wildwood, once was dear to thee.

      There the birds with tiny art
    Earth’s immemorial cradle-tune
    Warble at dawn to fern and fawn,
    In the budding thickets making merry;
    And for their love the primrose faint
    Floods the green shade with youthful scent.

      Come, thy jocund spring renew
    By hyacinthine lakes of blue:
    Thy beauty shall enchant the buxom May;
    And all the summer months shall strew thy way,
    And rose and honeysuckle rear
    Their flowery screens, till under fruit and berry
    The tall brake groweth golden with the year.


III.

    Thee fair Poetry oft hath sought,
    Wandering lone in wayward thought,
    On level meads by gliding streams,
    When summer noon is full of dreams:
    And thy loved airs her soul invade,
    Haunting retired the willow shade.

      Or in some wallèd orchard nook
    She communes with her ancient book,
    Beneath the branches laden low;
    While the high sun o’er bosom’d snow
    Smiteth all day the long hill-side,
    With ripening cornfields waving wide.

      There if thou linger all the year,
    No jar of man shall reach thine ear,
    Or sweetly come, as when the sound
    From hidden villages around,
    Threading the woody knolls, is borne
    Of bells that dong the Sabbath morn.


IV.


I.

    The sea with melancholy war
    Moateth about our castled shore;
    His world-wide elemental moan
    Girdeth our lives with tragic zone.

      He, ere men dared his watery path,
    Fenced them aloof in wrath;
    Their jealous brotherhoods
    Sund’ring with bitter floods;
    Till science grew and skill,
    And their adventurous will
    Challenged his boundaries, and went free
    To know the round world, and the sea
    From midday night to midnight sun
    Binding all nations into one.


II.

      Yet shall his storm and mastering wave
    Assure the empire to the brave;
    And to his billowy bass belongs
    The music of our patriot songs,
    When to the wind his ridges go
    In furious following, careering a-row,
    Lasht with hail and withering snow;
    And ever undaunted hearts outride
      His rushing waters wide.


III.

      But when the winds, fatigued or fled,
    Have left the drooping barks unsped,
    And nothing stirs his idle plain
    Save fire-breathed ships with silvery train,
    While lovingly his waves he layeth,
    And his slow heart in passion swells
    To the pale moon in heav’n that strayeth,
    And all his mighty music deep
    Whispers among the heapèd shells,
    Or in dark caverns lies asleep,
    Then dreams of Peace invite,
    Haunting our shore with kisses light;
    Nay, even Love’s Paphian Queen hath come
    Out of her long-retirèd home
    To show again her beauty bright,
    And twice or thrice in sight hath play’d
    Of a young lover unaffray’d,
    And all his verse immortal made.


V.


I.

            Love to Love calleth,
            Love unto Love replieth:
    From the ends of the earth, drawn by invisible bands,
    Over the dawning and darkening lands,
            Love cometh to Love;

      To the pangs of desire;
    To the heart by courage and might
    Escaped from hell,
    From the torment of raging fire,
    From the sighs of the drowning main,
    From shipwreck of fear and pain,
    From the terror of night.


II.

    All mankind by Love shall be banded
    To combat Evil, the many-handed;
    For the spirit of man on beauty feedeth,
    The airy fancy he heedeth,
    He regardeth Truth in the heavenly height,
    In changeful pavilions of loveliness dight,
    The sovran sun that knows not the night;
    He loveth the beauty of earth,
    And the sweet birds’ mirth;
    And out of his heart there falleth
    A melody-making river
    Of passion, that runneth ever
    To the ends of the earth and crieth,
    That yearneth and calleth;
    And Love from the heart of man
    To the heart of man replieth:
        On the wings of desire
        Love cometh to Love.


VI.


I.

    To me, to me, fair-hearted Goddess, come,
          To Sorrow come,
    Where by the grave I linger dumb;
        With Sorrow bow thine head,
        For all my beauty is dead.
    Leave Freedom’s vaunt and playful thought awhile;
    Come with thine unimpassioned smile
    Of heavenly peace, and with thy fourfold choir
        Of fair, uncloying harmony,
    Unveil the palaces where man’s desire
    Keepeth celestial solemnity.


II.

    Lament, fair-hearted queen, lament with me;
    For when thy seer died no song was sung,
    Nor for our heroes fall’n by land or sea
      Hath honor found a tongue,
    Nor aught of beauty for their tomb can frame
      Worthy their noble name.
    Let Mirth go bare; make mute thy dancing string;
      With thy majestic consolation
      Sweeten our suffering.
      Speak thou my woe, that from her pain
      My spirit arise to see again
      The Truth unknown that keeps our faith,
      The Beauty unseen that bates our breath,
      The heaven that doth our joy renew,
      And drinketh up our tears as dew.


VII.

DIRGE.

    Man born of desire
    Cometh out of the night,
    A wandering spark of fire,
    A lonely word of eternal thought,
    Echoing in chance and forgot.


I.

      He seeth the sun,
    He calleth the stars by name,
    He saluteth the flowers.
    Wonders of land and sea,
    The mountain towers
    Of ice and air
    He seeth, and calleth them fair.
      Then he hideth his face:--
    Whence he came to pass away
    Where all is forgot,
    Unmade,--lost for aye
    With the things that are not.


II.

      He striveth to know,
    To unravel the Mind
    That veileth in horror;
    He wills to adore;
    In wisdom he walketh
    And loveth his kind;
    His laboring breath
    Would keep evermore.
      Then he hideth his face:--
    Whence he came to pass away
    Where all is forgot,
    Unmade,--lost for aye
    With the things that are not.


III.

      He dreameth of beauty,
    He seeks to create
    Fairer and fairer,
    To vanquish his fate;
    No hindrance he,
    No curse will brook;
    He maketh a law
    No ill shall be.

      Then he hideth his face:--
    Whence he came to pass away
    Where all is forgot,
    Unmade,--lost for aye
    With the things that are not.


VIII.

    Rejoice, ye dead, where’er your spirits dwell;
    Rejoice that yet on earth your fame is bright,
    And that your names, remembered day and night,
    Live on the lips of those who love you well.
      ’Tis ye that conquered have the powers of Hell
    Each with the special grace of your delight;
    Ye are the world’s creators, and by might
    Alone of heavenly love ye did excel.

            Now ye are starry names,
            Behind the sun ye climb,
            To light the glooms of time
            With deathless flames.


IX.

    Open for me the gates of delight,
    The gates of the garden of man’s desire;
    Where spirits touched by heavenly fire
      Have planted the trees of life.
    Their branches in beauty are spread,
        Their fruit divine
    To the nations is given for bread
        And crushed into wine.

    To thee, O man, the sun his truth hath given;
    The moon hath whispered in love her silvery dreams;
    Night hath unlockt the starry heaven,
    The sea the trust of his streams;
    And the rapture of woodland spring
        Is stayed in its flying,
        And Death cannot sting
        Its beauty undying.

    Fear and Pity discontinue
    Their aching beams in colors fine;
    Pain and woe forego their might.
    After darkness thy leaping sight,
    After dumbness thy dancing sound,
    After fainting thy heavenly flight,
    After sorrow thy pleasure crowned:
    Oh, enter the garden of thy delight,
        Thy solace is found.


X.

      To us, O Queen of sinless grace,
      Now at our prayer unveil thy face;
      Awake again thy beauty free;
      Return and make our Graces three.
    And with our thronging strength to the ends of the earth
      Thy myriad-voicèd loveliness go forth,
      To lead o’er all the world’s wide ways
          God’s everlasting praise,
          And every heart inspire
    With the joy of man in the beauty of Love’s desire.



THE FAIR BRASS.


    An effigy of brass,
    Trodden by careless feet
    Of worshippers that pass,
    Beautiful and complete,

    Lieth in the sombre aisle
    Of this old church unwreckt,
    And still from modern style
    Shielded by kind neglect.

      It shows a warrior armed:
    Across his iron breast
    His hands by death are charmed
    To leave his sword at rest,

    Wherewith he led his men
    O’er sea, and smote to hell
    The astonisht Saracen,
    Nor doubted he did well.

      Would we could teach our sons
    His trust in face of doom,
    Or give our bravest ones
    A comparable tomb:

    Such as to look on shrives
    The heart of half its care,
    So in each line survives
    The spirit that made it fair;

    So fair the characters
    With which the dusky scroll
    That tells his title stirs
    A requiem for his soul.

      Yet dearer far to me,
    And brave as he, are they
    Who fight by land and sea
    For England at this day;

    Whose vile memorials,
    In mournful marbles gilt,
    Deface the beauteous walls
    By growing glory built.

      Heirs of our antique shrines,
    Sires of our future fame,
    Whose starry honor shines
    In many a noble name

    Across the deathful days,
    Linked in the brotherhood
    That loves our country’s praise
    And lives for heavenly good.



NOVEMBER.


I.

    The lonely season in lonely lands, when fled
    Are half the birds, and mists lie low, and the sun
    Is rarely seen, nor strayeth far from his bed;
    The short days pass unwelcomed one by one.

      Out by the ricks the mantled engine stands
    Crestfall’n, deserted,--for now all hands
    Are told to the plough,--and ere it is dawn appear
    The teams following and crossing far and near,
    As hour by hour they broaden the brown bands
    Of the striped fields; and behind them firk and prance
    The heavy rooks, and daws gray-pated dance:
    Or awhile, surmounting a crest, against the sky
    Pictured a whole team stands, or now near by
    Above the lane they shout, lifting the share,
    By the trim hedgerow bloomed with purple air;
    Where, under the thorns, dead leaves in huddle lie
    Packed by the gales of Autumn, and in and out
    The small wrens glide
    With a happy note of cheer,
    And yellow amorets flutter above and about,
    Gay, familiar in fear.


II.

    And now, if the night shall be cold, across the sky
    Linnets and twites, in small flocks helter-skelter,
    All the afternoon to the gardens fly,
    From thistle-pastures hurrying to gain the shelter
    Of American rhododendron or cherry-laurel;
    And here and there, near chilly setting of sun,
    In an isolated tree a congregation
    Of starlings chatter and chide,
    Thickset as summer leaves, in garrulous quarrel.
    Suddenly they hush as one,--
    The tree-top springs,--
    And off, with a whirr of wings,
    They fly by the score
    To the holly-thicket, and there with myriads more
    Dispute for the roosts; and from the unseen nation
    A babel of tongues, like running water unceasing,
    Makes live the wood, the flocking cries increasing,
    Wrangling discordantly, incessantly,
    While falls the night on them self-occupied,--
    The long, dark night, that lengthens slow,
    Deepening with winter to starve grass and tree,
    And soon to bury in snow
    The earth, that, sleeping ’neath her frozen stole,
    Shall dream a dream crept from the sunless pole
    Of how her end shall be.



THE SOUTH WIND.


I.

      The south wind rose at dusk of the winter day,
    The warm breath of the western sea
    Circling wrapped the isle with his cloak of cloud,
    And it now reached even to me, at dusk of the day,
    And moaned in the branches aloud:
    While here and there, in patches of dark space,
    A star shone forth from its heavenly place,
    As a spark that is borne in the smoky chase;
    And, looking up, there fell on my face--
    Could it be drops of rain,
    Soft as the wind, that fell on my face?
    Gossamers light as threads of the summer dawn,
    Sucked by the sun from midmost calms of the main,
    From groves of coral islands secretly drawn,
    O’er half the round of earth to be driven,
    Now to fall on my face
    In silky skeins spun from the mists of heaven.


II.

      Who art thou, in wind and darkness and soft rain
    Thyself that robest, that bendest in sighing pines
    To whisper thy truth? that usest for signs
    A hurried glimpse of the moon, the glance of a star
    In the rifted sky?
    Who art thou, that with thee I
    Woo and am wooed?
    That, robing thyself in darkness and soft rain,
    Choosest my chosen solitude,
    Coming so far
    To tell thy secret again,
    As a mother her child on her folding arm,
    Of a winter night by a flickering fire,
    Telleth the same tale o’er and o’er
    With gentle voice, and I never tire,
    So imperceptibly changeth the charm,
    As Love on buried ecstasy buildeth his tower,
    Like as the stem that beareth the flower
    By trembling is knit to power.
    Ah! long ago
    In thy first rapture I renounced my lot,
    The vanity, the despondency, and the woe,
    And seeking thee to know,
    Well was’t for me, and evermore
    I am thine, I know not what.


III.

      For me thou seekest ever, me wondering a day
    In the eternal alternations, me
    Free for a stolen moment of chance
    To dream a beautiful dream
    In the everlasting dance
    Of speechless worlds, the unsearchable scheme,
    To me thou findest the way,
    Me and whomsoe’er
    I have found my dream to share
    Still with thy charm encircling; even to-night
    To me and my love in darkness and soft rain
    Under the sighing pines thou comest again,
    And staying our speech with mystery of delight,
    Of the kiss that I give a wonder thou makest,
    And the kiss that I take thou takest.



WINTER NIGHTFALL.


    The day begins to droop,--
      Its course is done;
    But nothing tells the place
      Of the setting sun.

    The hazy darkness deepens,
      And up the lane
    You may hear, but cannot see,
      The homing wain.

    An engine pants and hums
      In the farm hard by:
    Its lowering smoke is lost
      In the lowering sky.

    The soaking branches drip,
      And all night through
    The dropping will not cease
      In the avenue.

    A tall man there in the house
      Must keep his chair:
    He knows he will never again
      Breathe the spring air.

    His heart is worn with work;
      He is giddy and sick
    If he rise to go as far
      As the nearest rick.

    He thinks of his morn of life,
      His hale, strong years;
    And braves as he may the night
      Of darkness and tears.



ERRATA. (corrected in this etext.)


     Page 40, second line from bottom, for “discontinue,” read
     “disentwine.”

     Page 51, third line from top, for “thy,” read “the.”


FOOTNOTES:

[1] For example, there is a passage in Dr. Parry’s recent work, “The
Art of Music,” which will illustrate what I mean. It is in the chapter
on Modern Tendencies. See especially, page 311.

[2] I omit the _idea_, the musical suggestion of which is a feat of
genius, independent of style. The apprehension and exhibition of the
_mood_ is generally considered a simple matter, but really it affords
a wide field for subtlety of interpretation. I have, for the sake of
simplicity, assumed that in their choral music the older musicians
altogether disregarded the speech inflection of the _phrase_; but
this is not quite true, and since, especially in such words as they
usually set, the speech inflection is often uncertain and unimportant,
or altogether a nonentity, and would very well correspond with almost
any simple musical expression of the mood, this distinction between
ancients and moderns cannot always be seen, or will appear only as a
difference of degree.

[3] Throughout these remarks I speak chiefly of the Ode. It is
necessary in so wide a subject to aim at a definite mark, and while an
ode happens to be in question, the Ode is also the example which is
taken by Dr. Parry in the passage to which I have referred the reader.





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