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Wanderers in that happy valley,

Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically,

To a lute's well-tuned law,
Round about a throne where, sitting

(Porphyrogene! 1),
In state his glory well befitting,

The ruler of the realm was seen.

And all with pearl and ruby glowing

Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing

And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty

Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,

The wit and wisdom of their king.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,

Assailed the monarch's high estate.
(Ah, let us mourn!—for never morrow

Shall dawn upon him desolate!)
And round about his home the glory

That blushed and bloomed,
Is but a dim-remembered story

Of the old time entombed.

And travelers, now, within that valley,

Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms, that move fantastically

To a discordant melody,

to

1 “Born

to the purple,” or “of royal race”-apparently intended be associated, as an epithet, with "ruler," below.

While, like a ghastly rapid river,

Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever
And laugh—but smile no more.

Edgar Allan Poc

174

A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT

WHAT

HAT was he doing, the great god Pan,

Down in the reeds by the river?
Spreading ruin and scattering ban,
Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat,
And breaking the golden lilies afloat

With the dragon-fly on the river?

He tore out a reed, the great god Pan,

From the deep cool bed of the river,
The limpid water turbidly ran,
And the broken lilies a-dying lay,
And the dragon-fly had fled away,

Ere he brought it out of the river.

High on the shore sat the great god Pan,

While turbidly flowed the river,
And hacked and hewed as a great god can
With his hard bleak steel at the patient reed,
Till there was not a sign of the leaf indeed
To
prove

it fresh from the river.

He cut it short, did the great god Pan

(How tall it stood in the river!),
Then drew the pith, like the heart of a man,
Steadily from the outside ring,
And notched the poor dry empty thing

In holes as he sat by the river,

“This is the way,” laughed the great god Pan

(Laughed while he sat by the river),
“The only way since gods began
To make sweet music, they could succeed.”
Then dropping his mouth to a hole in the reed,

He blew in power by the river.

Sweet, sweet, sweet, O Pan!

Piercing sweet by the river!
Blinding sweet, O great god Pan!
The sun on the hill forgot to die,
And the lilies revived, and the dragon-fly

Came back to dream on the river.

Yet half a beast is the great god Pan

To laugh as he sits by the river,
Making a poet out of a man:
The true gods sigh for the cost and pain-
For the reed which grows never more again
As a reed with the reeds in the river.1

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

175

THE SOUL'S EXPRESSION

WITH

TITH stammering lips and insufficient sound

I strive and struggle to deliver right
That music of my nature, day and night
With dream and thought and feeling interwound,
And inly answering all the senses round
With octaves of a mystic depth and height
Which step out grandly to the infinite
From the dark edges of the sensual ground.

i With the theme of this poem may be compared the simile of the pelican in The May Night of Alfred de Musset.

This song of soul I struggle to outbear
Through portals of the sense, sublime and whole,
And utter all myself into the air;
But if I did it, as the thunder-roll
Breaks its own cloud, my flesh would perish there,
Before that dread apocalypse of soul.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

176 ALEXANDER’S FEAST; OR, THE POWER

OF MUSIC

'TW

'WAS at the royal feast for Persia won

By Philip's warlike son-
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sate

On his imperial throne;
His valiant peers were placed around,
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound

(So should desert in arms be crowned);
The lovely Thais by his side
Sate like a blooming Eastern bride
In flower of youth and beauty's pride:-
Happy, happy, happy pair!

None but the brave,

None but the brave,
None but the brave deserves the fair!

Timotheus, placed on high

Amid the tuneful quire,
With flying fingers touched the lyre:
The trembling notes ascend the sky

And heavenly joys inspire.

The song began from Jove,
Who left his blissful seats above-

ch is the power of mighty love! dragon's fiery form belied the god;

blime on radiant spires he rode hen he to fair Olympia prest,

id while he sought her snowy breast,

Then round her slender waist he curled,

id stamped an image of himself, a sovereign of the world. -The listening crowd admire the lofty sound;

A present deity! they shout around:

present deity! the vaulted roofs rebound:

With ravished ears

The monarch hears,

Assumes the god,

Affects to nod,

And seems to shake the spheres.

he praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung,
Of Bacchus ever fair and ever young:

The jolly god in triumph comes!
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums!
Flushed with a purple grace

He shows his honest face:

ow give the hautboys breath; he comes, he comes!

Bacchus, ever fair and young,
Drinking joys did first ordain;

Bacchus' blessings are a treasure,
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure:

Rich the treasure,

Sweet the pleasure,

Sweet is pleasure after pain.

Soothed with the sound, the king grew vain;

Fought all his battles o'er again,

d thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew the slain.

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