TWO SONNETS
ON HEARING THE MUSIC OF BRAHMS AND TSCHAIKOWSKY.

To C. G. LAMB.

I.

MY soul is aching with the sense of sound

Whose angels trumpet in the angry air;

Wild maenads with their fiery snakes enwound

In the black waves of my abundant hair.

Now hath my life a little respite found

In the brief pauses exquisite and rare;

In the strong chain of music I am bound,

And all myself before myself lies bare.

Drown me, oh, drown me in your fiery stream!

Wing me new visions, fierce enchanting birds!

Peace is less dear than this delirious fight!

For all the glowing fragrance of a dream

And all the sudden ecstasy of words

Deluge my spirit with a lake of light {113A}

II.

The constant ripple of your long white hands,

The soul-tormenting violin that speaks

Truth, and enunciates all my soul seeks,

That binds my love in its desirous bands,

And clutches at my heart, until there stands

No fibre yet unshaken, while it wreaks

In one sharp song the agony of weeks,

And all my soul and body understands.

The music changes, and I know that here,

In these new melodies, a tongue of fire

Leaps at each waving of the silver spear;

And all my sorrow dons delight’s attire

Because the gate of heaven is so near,

And I have comprehended my desire.

 

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