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I took his coin, was tempted and com- I was ever a fighter, so-one fight more, plied,
The best and the last! And built this house and sinned, and all I would hate that death bandaged my is said.
my peers lot.
The heroes of old, They were born poor, lived poor, and poor Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad they died:
life's arrears And I have labored somewhat in my time Of pain, darkness and cold. And not been paid profusely. Some good For sudden the worst turns the best to son
the brave, Paint my two hundred pictures—let him The black minute's at end, try!
And the elements’ rage, the fiend-voices No doubt, there's something strikes a balance. Yes,
Shall dwindle, shall blend, You loved me quite enough, it seems to- Shall change, shall become first a peace night.
out of pain,
25 This must suffice me here. What would Then a light, then thy breast, one have?
O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee In heaven, perhaps, new chances, one more again, chance
260 And with God be the rest!
265 AFTER HE HAS BEEN EXTEMPORIZING Because there's still Lucrezia, -as I
UPON THE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT choose.
OF HIS INVENTION
/ Again the Cousin's whistle! Go, my Love.
Would that the structure, brave, the man-
to their work,
Claiming each slave of the sound, at a
touch, as when Solomon willed Fear death? to feel the fog in my throat,
Armies of angels that soar, legions of The mist in my face,
demons that lurk, When the snows begin, and the blasts de Man, brute, reptile, fly,—alien of end and note
5 I am nearing the place,
Adverse, each from the other heavenThe power of the night, the press of the
high, hell-deep removed, storm,
Should rush into sight at once as he named The post of the foe;
the ineffable Name, Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a
And pile him a palace straight, to visible form,
pleasure the princess he loved! Yet the strong man must go: For the journey is done and the summit Would it might tarry like his, the beautiful attained,
building of mine, And the barriers fall,
This which my keys in a crowd pressed Though a battle's to fight ere the guerdon and importuned to raise! be gained,
Ah, one and all, how they helped, would The reward of it all.
dispart now and now combine,
IO 20 IOO
Zealous to hasten the work, heighten Or else the wonderful Dead who have their master his praise!
passed through the body and gone, And one would bury his brow with a blind But were back once more to breathe in plunge down to hell,
an old world worth their new: Burrow awhile and build, broad on What never had been, was now; what was, the roots of things,
as it shall be anon; Then up again swim into sight, having And what is,--shall I say, matched based me my palace well, 15
both? for I was made perfect too. 40 Founded it, fearless of flame, flat on the nether springs.
All through my keys that gave their sounds
to a wish of my soul, And another would mount and march,
All through my soul that praised as its like the excellent minion he was,
wish flowed visibly forth, Ay, another and yet another, one crowd
All through music and me! For think, but with many a crest,
had I painted the whole, Raising my rampired' walls of gold as
Why, there it had stood, to see, nor transparent as glass,
the process so wonder-worth: Eager to do and die, yield each his place Had I written the same, made verseto the rest:
still effect proceeds from cause, 45 For higher still and higher (as a runner
Ye know why the forms are fair, ye tips with fire,
hear how the tale is told; When a great illumination surprises a
It is all triumphant art, but art in obefestal night
dience to laws, Outlining round and round Rome's dome Painter and poet are proud in the from space to spire)
artist-list enrolled: Up, the pinnacled glory reached, and
But here is the finger of God, a flash of the pride of my soul was in sight.
the will that can,
Existent behind all laws, that made In sight? Not half! for it seemed, it was
them and, lo, they are!
50 certain, to match man's birth, 25
And I know not if, save in this, such gift Nature in turn conceived, obeying an
be allowed to man impulse as I;
That out of three sounds he frame, not And the emulous heaven yearned down,
a fourth sound, but a star. made effort to reach the earth,
Consider it well: each tone of our scale in As the earth had done her best, in my itself is naught:
passion, to scale the sky: Novel splendors burst forth, grew familiar
It is everywhere in the world—loud,
soft, and all is said: and dwelt with mine,
Give it to me to use! I mix it with two in Not a point nor peak but found and fixed its wandering star;
And there! Ye have heard and seen: Meteor-moons, balls of blaze: and they
consider and bow the head! did not pale nor pine, For earth had attained to heaven, there Well, it is gone at last, the palace of music was no more near nor far.
Gone! and the good tears start, the Nay more; for there wanted not who praises that come too slow;
walked in the glare and glow, For one is assured at first, one scarce can Presences plain in the place; or, fresh say that he feared, from the Protoplast,
That he even gave it a thought, the Furnished for ages to come, when a kindlier gone thing was to go. wind should blow,
Never to be again! But many more of Lured now to begin and live, in a house
the kind to their liking at last;
As good, nay, better perchance: is this 1 furnished with ramparts.
your comfort to me?
To me, who must be saved because I cling Well, it is earth with me; silence resumes with my mind
her reign: To the same, same self, same love, I will be patient and proud, and soberly same God: ay, what was, shall be. acquiesce.
Give me the keys. I feel for the common Therefore to whom turn I but to thee, chord again, the ineffable Name?
Sliding. by semitones till I sink to the Builder and maker, thou, of houses not
minor, --yes, made with hands!
And I blunt it into a ninth, and I stand on What, have fear of change from thee who alien ground, art ever the same?
Surveying awhile the heights I rolled Doubt that thy power can fill the heart from into the deep; that thy power expands?
Which, hark, I have dared and done, for There shall never be one lost good! What
my resting-place is found,
95 was, shall live as before;
The C Major of this life: so, now I will The evil is null, is naught, is silence
try to sleep. implying sound; What was good shall be good, with, for
evil, so much good more; On the earth the broken arcs; in the
RABBI BEN EZRA heaven a perfect round. All we have willed or hoped or dreamed
Grow old along with me! of good shall exist;
The best is yet to be, Not its semblance, but itself; no beauty, The last of life, for which the first was nor good, nor power
made: Whose voice has gone forth, but each sur
Our times are in his hand vives for the melodist
Who saith, “A whole I planned, 5
75 When eternity affirms the conception Youth shows but half; trust God: see all
, of an hour.
nor be afraid!” The high that proved too high, the heroic for earth too hard,
Not that, amassing flowers, The passion that left the ground to lose
Youth şighed, “Which rose make ours, itself in the sky,
Which lily leave and then as best re
call?” Are music sent up to God by the lover and the bard;
Not that, admiring stars, Enough that he heard it once: we shall
It yearned, “Nor Jove, nor Mars;
transcends them all!”
Not for such hopes and fears For the fullness of the days? Have Annulling youth's brief years, we withered or agonized?
Do I remonstrate: folly wide the mark! 15 Why else was the pause prolonged but Rather I prize the doubt
that singing might issue thence? Low kinds exist without, Why rushed the discords in, but that Finished and finite clods, untroubled by a harmony should be prized?
spark. Sorrow is hard to bear, and doubt is slow to clear,
Poor vaunt of life indeed, Each sufferer says his say, his scheme Were man but formed to feed of the weal and woe:
On joy, to solely seek and find and feast; But God has a few of us whom he whispers Such feasting ended, then
As sure an end to men; The rest may reason and welcome: 'tis Irks care the crop-full bird? Frets doubt we musicians know.
the maw-crammed beast?
in the ear;
in the germ.
Rejoice we are allied
25 Would we some prize might hold To that which doth provide
To match those manifold
65 And not partake, effect and not receive! Possessions of the brute, -gain most, as A spark disturbs our clod;
we did best! Nearer we hold of God Who gives, than of his tribes that take, I Let us not always say, must believe.
30 “Spite of this flesh to-day
I strove, made head, gained ground upon Then, welcome each rebuff
the whole!” That turns earth's smoothness rough, As the bird wings and sings,
70 Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but Let us cry, "All good things go!
Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more, now, Be our joys three-parts pain!
than flesh helps soul!” Strive, and hold cheap the strain; 35 Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never Therefore I summon age grudge the throe!
To grant youth's heritage,
Life's struggle having so far reached its For thence,-a paradox
75 Which comforts while it mocks,- Thence shall I pass, approved Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail: A man, for aye removed What I aspired to be,
40 From the developed brute; a God though And was not, comforts me: A brute I might have been, but would not sink i' the scale.
And I shall thereupon
80 What is he but a brute
Once more on my adventure ve and Whose flesh has soul to suit, Whose spirit works lest arms and legs Fearless and unperplexed, want play?
When I wage battle next, To man, propose this test
What weapons to select, what armor to Thy body at its best,
indue, 2 How far can that project thy soul on its lone way? Youth ended, I shall try
My gain or loss thereby; Yet gifts should prove their use: Leave the fire ashes, what survives is gold: I own the Past profuse
And I shall weigh the same, Of power each side, perfection every turn: Give life its praise or blame: Eyes, ears took in their dole,
Young, all lay in dispute; I shall know, Brain treasured up the whole;
being old. Should not the heart beat once, “How good to live and learn?”
For note, when evening shuts,
A certain moment cuts Not once beat, “Praise be thine!
The deed off, calls the glory from the I see the whole design,
gray: I, who saw power, see now Love perfect too; A whisper from the west Perfect I call thy plan:
Shoots—“Add this to the rest, Thanks that I was a man!
Take it and try its worth: here dies Maker, remake, complete, I trust what another day." thou shalt do!”
So, still within this life, For pleasant is this flesh;
Though lifted o'er its strife, Our soul, in its rose-mesh
Let me discern, compare, pronounce at Pulled ever to the earth, still yearns for last, rest:
: put on.
“This rage was right i' the main,
O'er which, from level stand, That acquiescence vain:
The low world laid its hand, The Future I may face now I have proved Found straightway to its mind, could the Past.”
value in a trice:
For more is not reserved
But all the world's coarse thumb To man, with soul just nerved
And finger failed to plumb,
140 To act to-morrow what he learns to
So passed in making up the main account; day:
105 All instincts immature, Here, work enough to watch
All purposes unsure, The Master work, and catch
That weighed not as his work, yet swelled Hints of the proper craft, tricks of the the man's amount: tool's true play. Thoughts hardly to be packed
145 As it was better, youth
Into a narrow act,
Fancies that broke through language and
escaped; found made:
All I could never be, So, better, age, exempt
All, men ignored in me, From strife, should know, than tempt
This I was worth to God, whose wheel the Further. Thou waitedst age: wait death
150 nor be afraid! Enough now, if the Right
Ay, note that Potter's wheel, And Good and Infinite
That metaphor! and feel Be named here, as thou callest thy hand Why time spins fast, why passive lies our
clay, With knowledge absolute,
Thou, to whom fools propound, Subject to no dispute
When the wine makes its round,
155 From fools that crowded youth, nor let
“Since life fleets, all is change; the Past thee feel alone.
gone, seize to-day!” Be there, for once and all,
Fool! All that is, at all, Severed great minds from small,
Lasts ever, past recall; Announced to each his station in the Earth changes, but thy soul and God Past!
stand sure: Was I, the world arraigned,
What entered into thee,
160 Were they, my soul disdained,
That was, is, and shall be:
125 Right? Let age speak the truth and give Time's wheel runs back or stops: Potter us peace at last!
and clay endure. Now, who shall arbitrate?
He fixed thee 'mid this dance Ten men love what I hate,
Of plastic circumstance, Shun what I follow, slight what I re
This Present, thou, forsooth, wouldst ceive;
165 Ten, who in ears and eyes
Machinery just meant Match me: we all surmise,
To give thy soul its bent, They this thing, and I that: whom shall Try thee and turn thee forth, sufficiently my soul believe?
Not on the vulgar mass
What though the earlier grooves, Called "work,” must sentence pass,
Which ran the laughing loves
170 Things done, that took the eye and had the Around thy base, no longer pause and price;