Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON HEARING A LITTLE MUSIC-BOX, by JAMES HENRY LEIGH HUNT



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ON HEARING A LITTLE MUSIC-BOX, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Hallo! - what? - where, what can it be
Last Line: Music for the flowers to blow to.
Alternate Author Name(s): Hunt, Leigh
Subject(s): Music & Musicians; Music Box


HALLO! -- what? -- where, what can it be
That strikes up so deliciously?
I never in my life -- what? no!
That little tin box playing so?
It really seemed as if a sprite
Had struck among us swift and light,
And come from some minuter star
To treat us with his pearl guitar.
Hark! It scarcely ends the strain,
But it gives it o'er again,
Lovely thing! -- and runs along
Just as if it knew the song,
Touching out, smooth, clear and small,
Harmony, and shake, and all;
Now upon the treble lingering,
Dancing now as if 't were fingering,
And at last upon the close
Coming with serene repose.
O full of sweetness, crispness, ease,
Compound of lovely smallnesses,
Accomplished trifle, -- tell us what
To call thee, and disgrace thee not!
Worlds of fancies come about us,
Thrill within, and glance without us.
Now we think that there must be
In thee some humanity,
Such a taste composed and fine
Smiles along that touch of thine.
Now we call thee heavenly rain,
For thy fresh continued strain;
Now a hail that on the ground
Splits into light leaps of sound;
Now the concert, neat and nice,
Of a pygmy paradise;
Sprinkles then from singing fountains;
Fairies heard on tops of mountains;
Nightingales endued with art,
Caught in listening to Mozart;
Stars that make a distant tinkling,
While their happy eyes are twinkling;
Sounds for scattered rills to flow to;
Music for the flowers to blow to.




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