Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SONG I NEVER SING, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY



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THE SONG I NEVER SING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: As when in dreams we sometimes
Last Line: Join in the song I never sing.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Singing & Singers; Sound; Time; Voices


AS when in dreams we sometimes hear
A melody so faint and fine
And musically sweet and clear,
It flavors all the atmosphere
With harmony divine, --
So, often in my waking dreams,
I hear a melody that seems
Like fairy voices whispering
To me the song I never sing.

Sometimes when brooding o'er the years
My lavish youth has thrown away --
When all the glowing past appears
But as a mirage that my tears
Have crumbled to decay, --
I thrill to find the ache and pain
Of my remorse is stilled again,
As, forward bent and listening,
I hear the song I never sing.

A murmuring of rhythmic words,
Adrift on tunes whose currents flow
Melodious with the trill of birds,
And far-off lowing of the herds
In lands of long ago;
And every sound the truant loves
Comes to me like the coo of doves
When first in blooming fields of Spring
I heard the song I never sing.

The echoes of old voices, wound
In limpid streams of laughter where
The river Time runs bubble-crowned,
And giddy eddies ripple round
The lilies growing there;
Where, roses, bending o'er the brink,
Drain their own kisses as they drink,
And ivies climb and twine and cling
About the song I never sing.

An ocean-surge of sound that falls
As though a tide of heavenly art
Had tempested the gleaming halls
And crested o'er the golden walls
In showers on my heart. . . .
Thus -- thus, with open arms and eyes
Uplifted toward the alien skies,
Forgetting every earthly thing,
I hear the song I never sing.

O nameless lay, sing clear and strong,
Pour down thy melody divine
Till purifying floods of song
Have washed away the stains of wrong
That dim this soul of mine!
O woo me near and nearer thee,
Till my glad lips may catch the key,
And, with a voice unwavering,
Join in the song I never sing.





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