Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MUSIC OF NATURE, by E. JUSTINE BAYARD

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

MUSIC OF NATURE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I am here lonely! There was once a time
Last Line: Thine is perennial strength, mute weakness mine.
Alternate Author Name(s): Cutting, E. Justine
Subject(s): Nature

I am here lonely! There was once a time
I could divine no sorrow in that word;
I carried in my heart a sweeter chime
Than in the voice of other men is heard;
And Nature spake to me in sun and shade,
And my own thought a pleasant music made.

The air was instinct with a lovely spell,
The winds awoke in mystic harmonies,
And moonlit waves at summer eve could tell
Strange tales to me, as playfully the breeze
Swept o'er their crests, no longer still or mute,
Like fairy fingers over harp or lute.

There was a soul in trees, which to my ear
Came often when their leaves of gossamer
Swayed with the soft south wind; I seem'd to hear
Elves all invisible, with singing stir
The quiet atmosphere of summer noon,
A low, and lingering, and loving tune.

The mountains had another tone. Their's was
No melody of voice or instrument,
But verse unrhymed, sublime and stately as
His words inspired, who saw the firmament
With eyes to earth-scenes wrapt in dark eclipse,
Or the Italian's rapt apocalypse.

And heaven's deep azure, over-arching all,
Spake to my spirit as an old church bell
Heard from afar, with hymnings musical
Drawn from the organ's full melodious swell,
Angelic music with high bliss elate,
To Nature's great Designer consecrate.

The soul of Nature is in Nature still;
But there has gone from me I know not what
Of power to catch her whispers, as they fill
With untaught poesy each lovely spot,
Therefore her beauty most awakes my heart
To mourn the absence of her votary's art.

Like those sad exiles from the realm of sound,
Those mute and lone ones, unto whom the hum
Of life comes not, in their deep silence bound
Nature to me is beautiful but dumb;
And wrapt for ever in a speechless gloom,
What is e'en beauty but a living tomb?

Ah no! bright goddess, no. I will not stain
The lips which have been thine with words like these;
There are whose sense still notes the exalted strain,
Though mine be deadened to thy minstrelsies.
Sing on for them sweet harmonist divine,
Thine is perennial strength, mute weakness mine.

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