Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BEETHOVEN'S SEVENTH SYMPHONY, by LYMAN WHITNEY ALLEN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

BEETHOVEN'S SEVENTH SYMPHONY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The dead christ starts, the shadows lift, the light
Last Line: Drawing the worshipping ages in ecstasy after.
Subject(s): Beethoven, Ludwig Van (1770-1827); Composers; Music & Musicians

(Poco Sostenuto)

The dead Christ starts, the shadows lift, the light
Lengthens across the Galilean's face;
Death flees before impetuous hosts that chase
With swords of sunshine and white spears to smite
Grim wraiths of agonies and lingering sight
Of scarred Golgotha in divine disgrace.
The light beats swift and swifter, and the space
Stirs with the passion of immortal might.


The dead Christ arises; the grave is defeated; the stone
Is rolled away by the angels. An Easter pæan!
The air is a tumult of tremulous wonderings.
The sweet winds are weighted with spirits from Paradise flown.
On one mighty billow of song the strong Galilean
Moves into the light and the rapture and flutter of wings.


Waking Easter lilies lift their eyes
To the weeping eyes of Magdalene;
Sounds, bewildering, agitate between
Earth and sky, and all things seem to rise.

Mystery casts off its dark disguise,
Life and power leap from the Nazarene;
Earth and sky are filled with radiant sheen,
Flash of wings and surge of Paradise.

(Finale: Allegro con brio)

Heaven is emptied of angels; the jubilant legions,
Wild with tumultuous rapture and breathless despair,
Whirling and swirling, encircle with song and with laughter.
Strong with the infinite strength to the infinite regions,
Rises the Crucified, swift on the tides of the air,
Drawing the worshipping ages in ecstasy after.

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