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And one would bury his brow with a blind plunge down

to hell, Burrow awhile and build, broad on the roots of

things, Then up again swim into sight, having based me my

palace well, Founded it, fearless of flame, flat on the nether springs.


And another would mount and march, like the excellent

minion he was, Ay, another and yet another, one crowd but with many

a crest, Raising my rampired walls of gold as transparent as

glass, Eager to do and die, yield each his place to the rest : For higher still and higher (as a runner tips with fire,

When a great illumination surprises a festal nightOutlining round and round Rome's dome from space to

spire) Up, the pinnacled glory reached, and the pride of my

soul was in sight.


In sight? Not half! for it seemed, it was certain, to

match man's birth, Nature in turn conceived, obeying an impulse as I; And the emulous heaven yearned down, made effort to

reach the earth, As the earth had done her best, in my passion, to

scale the sky :

Novel splendours burst forth, grew familiar and dwelt

with mine, Not a point nor peak but found, but fixed its wander

ing star; Meteor-moons, balls of blaze: and they did not pale nor

pine, For earth had attained to heaven, there was no more

near nor far.

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Nay more; for there wanted not who walked in the glare

and glow, Presences plain in the place; or, fresh from the Pro

toplast, Furnished for ages to come, when a kindlier wind should

blow, Lured now to begin and live, in a house to their liking

at last; Or else the wonderful Dead who have passed through the

body and gone, But were back once more to breathe in an old world

worth their new : What never had been, was now; what was, as it shall be

anon ; And what is, -shall I say, matched both ? for I was

made perfect too.


All through my keys that gave their sounds to a wish of

my soul, All through my soul that praised as its wish flowed

visibly forth,

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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 behind all laws : that made them, and, lo,

they are ! And I know not if, save in this, such gift be allowed to man, That out of three sounds he frame, not a fourth sound,

but å 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


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




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 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 may reason and welcome ; 't is we musicians



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 resting-place

is found, The C Major of this life: so, now I will try to sleep.

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