Classic and Contemporary Poetry
TO HENRY VAN DYKE, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: Music! Yea, and the airs you play
Last Line: We catch the chime of the anthem, too.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Variant Title(s): On Reading Dr. Henry Van Dyke's Volume Of Poems - Music
Subject(s): Van Dyke, Henry (1852-1933)
Music! -- Yea, and the airs you play --
Out of the faintest Far-Away
And the sweetest tool and the dearest Here,
With its quavering voice but its bravest cheer --
The prayer that aches to be all expressed --
The kiss of love at its tenderest:
Music -- music, with glad heart-throbs
Within it; and music with tears and sobs
Shaking it, as the startled soul
Is shaken at the shriek of the fife and roll
Of the drums; -- then as suddenly lulled again
With the whisper and lisp of the summer rain:
Mist of melodies fragrance-fine --
The bird-song flicked from the eglantine
With the dews when the springing bramble throws
A rarer drench on its ripest rose,
And the winged song soars up and sinks
To the dove's dim coo by the river-brinks
Where the ripple's voice still laughs along
Its glittering path of light and song.
Music, O Poet, and all your own
By right of capture and that alone, --
For in it we hear the harmony
Born of the earth and their air and the sea,
And over and under it, and all through,
We catch the chime of The Anthem, too.
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