Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LINES SUGGESTED BY HEARING MUSIC ON THE BOSTON COMMON, by THOMAS COLE (1801-1848)



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LINES SUGGESTED BY HEARING MUSIC ON THE BOSTON COMMON, by            
First Line: Music it was I heard, and music too
Last Line: The cave of silence their eternal tomb.
Subject(s): Boston; Music & Musicians


Music it was I heard, and music too
Of mortal utterance; but it did sound
Unto my Fancy's ear like that of spirits;
Spirits that dwell within the vasty caves
Near the earths center --

Silence dwelt around.
Then came soft sounds slowly, with pauses 'twixt
Like sighs of sleepers in deep distant caves
They sank and list'ning silence reign'd again.

Then rose a voice, a single voice but shrill
It rent the sable curtains of the gloom
And pierc'd the confines of each echoing cave,
And ev'ry spirit rais'd his sleepy head
From the cold pillow of the dripping rock --
Again the single voice, rung with a shriller tone,
Each spirit answer'd from his hidden nook --
Some voices came from distant winding clifts
And sought the ear like Angel whisperings.
From the deep arches of the rocky roof
Tones rich as those of heav'ns own trumpets burst.
From out the dark profound abysms arose
Sounds as of earthquake, thunder, or the roar
Of booming cataracts -- Silence again --

Hark! they have met within the giant hall:
Whose roof is pillar'd by huge mountain tops,
And voices shrill, and deep in concord loudly join.
The heaving harmony sweeps to and fro
Surge over surge and fills the ample place.

Ocean of sound sublime! ! The tides contend,
Augment, higher, yet higher; Earth cannot
Contain; it yields -- tis riven -- and falling rocks
And tottering pinnacles join their dread voices
In the tumultuous and astounding roar --

'Tis past. And nought now strikes the waiting ear
Save the soft echoes ling'ring on their way.
Soft! They have ceas'd to whisper, having found
The cave of silence their eternal tomb.






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