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Blest be the song that brightens
The blind man's gloom, exalts the veteran's mirth; Unscorned the peasant's whistling breath, that
His duteous toil of furrowing the green earth.
That beautifies the fairest shore,
And mitigates the harshest clime.
Yon pilgrims see-in lagging file
They move; but soon the appointed way
A choral Ave Marie shall beguile,
And to their hope the distant shrine
Glisten with a livelier ray :
Not friendless he, the prisoner of the mine,
Who from the well-spring of his own clear breast
Can draw, and sing his griefs to rest.
When civic renovation
Dawns on a kingdom, and for needful haste
Who, from a martial pageant, spreads
Incitements of a battle-day,
Thrilling the unweaponed crowds with plumeless
Even She, whose Lydian airs inspire
Peaceful striving, gentle play
Of timid hope and innocent desire
Shot from the dancing Graces, as they move
How oft along thy mazes,
Regent of sound, have dangerous Passions trod!
And blackening clouds in thunder speak of God, Betray not by the cozenage of sense
Thy votaries, wooingly resigned
To a voluptuous influence
That taints the purer, better mind ;
But lead sick Fancy to a harp
That hath in noble tasks been tried ;
And, if the virtuous feel a pang too sharp,
The uplifted arm of Suicide;
And let some mood of thine in firm array
Knit every thought the impending issue needs,
Ere martyr burns, or patriot bleeds!
As Conscience, to the centre
Of being, smites with irresistible pain,
So shall a solemn cadence, if it enter
The mouldy vaults of the dull idiot's brain,
Convulsed as by a jarring din;
And then aghast, as at the world,
Of reason partially let in
By concords winding with a sway
Terrible for sense and soul!
Or, awed he weeps, struggling to quell dismay.
Lodged above the starry pole;
Pure modulations flowing from the heart
Oblivion may not cover
All treasures hoarded by the miser, Time.
And voice and shell drew forth a tear
The GIFT to king Amphion
That walled a city with its melody
Was for belief no dream :-Thy skill, Arion!
Could humanize the creatures of the sea,
Where men were monsters. A last grace he craves,
And singing, while the accordant hand
So shall he touch at length a friendly strand,
The pipe of Pan, to shepherds
Couched in the shadow of Mænalian pines,
This way and that, with wild-flowers crowned.
Of fable, though to truth subservient, hear
The convict's summons in the steeple's knell;
For terror, joy, or pity,
Vast is the compass and the swell of notes:
Ye wandering Utterances, has earth no scheme,
Powers that survive but in the faintest dream
By one pervading spirit,
Of tones and numbers all things are controlled, As sages taught, where faith was found to merit, Initiation in that mystery old.
The heavens, whose aspect makes our minds as still As they themselves appear to be,
Innumerable voices fill
With everlasting harmony;
The towering headlands, crowned with mist,
Their feet among the billows, know
That Ocean is a mighty harmonist;
Thy pinions, universal Air,
Ever waving to and fro,
Are delegates of harmony, and bear
Strains that support the Seasons in their round;
Break forth into thanksgiving,
Ye banded instruments of wind and chords;
Unite, to magnify the Ever-living,
Your inarticulate notes with the voice of words!
Nor hushed be service from the lowing mead,
Nor mute the forest hum of noon;
Thou too be heard, lone eagle! freed
From snowy peak and cloud, attune