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FOR A PICTURE OF ST. CECILIA ATTENDED BY ANGELS, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: How can that eye, with inspiration beaming
Last Line: Is the dream-haunted music-land for thee.
Alternate Author Name(s): Browne, Felicia Dorothea
Subject(s): Cecilia, Saint (3d Century); Paintings & Painters; Saints

How can that eye, with inspiration beaming,
Wear yet so deep a calm? O child of song!
Is not the music-land a world of dreaming,
Where forms of sad, bewildering beauty throng?

Hath it not sounds from voices long departed?
Echoes of tones that rung in childhood's ear?
Low haunting whispers, which the weary-hearted,
Stealing midst crowds away, have wept to hear?

No, not to thee! Thy spirit, meek, yet queenly,
On its own starry height, beyond all this,
Floating triumphantly and yet serenely,
Breathes no faint undertone through songs of bliss.

Say by what strain, through cloudless ether swelling,
Thou hast drawn down those wanderers from the skies?
Bright guests! even such as left of yore their dwelling
For the deep cedar-shades of Paradise!

What strain? Oh! not the nightingale's, when, showering
Her own heart's life-drops on the burning lay,
She stirs the young woods in the days of flowering,
And pours her strength, but not her grief, away:

And not the exile's -- when, midst lonely billows,
He wakes the Alpine notes his mother sung,
Or blends them with the sigh of alien willows,
Where, murmuring to the wind, his harp is hung:

And not the pilgrim's -- though his thoughts be holy,
And sweet his ave-song when day grows dim;
Yet, as he journeys, pensively and slowly,
Something of sadness floats through that low hymn.

But thou! -- the spirit which at eve is filling
All the hushed air and reverential sky --
Founts, leaves, and flowers, with solemn rapture thrilling --
This is the soul of thy rich harmony.

This bears up high those breathings of devotion
Wherein the currents of thy heart gush free;
Therefore no world of sad and vain emotion
Is the dream-haunted music-land for thee.

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