Elizabeth Stoddard

1823-1902

 

Music In A Crowd

by Elizabeth Stoddard

When I hear music, whether waltz or psalm,
Among a crowd, I find myself alone;
It does not touch me with a soothing balm,
But brings an echo like a moan

From some far country where a palace rose,
In which I reigned with Cleopatra's pride:
Come, Charmian! bring the asp for my repose.
And queenly, men shall say, she died.

There lived and ruled a happy, noble race,
Primeval souls who held imperial power --
My kindred, gone forever from their place,
And I am here without a dower!

They were a Vision, though. And are these real,
These men and women, moving as in sleep,
Who, smiling, gesture to the same Ideal,
For which the music makes me weep?

Have they my longings for that other world
New to them yet? I grant that Music's swell
Is like the sea; they may be thither hurled
By storms that thunder and compel;

Or, like those voyagers in the land of streams,
Glide through its languid air, its languid wave,
To learn that Here and There are but two dreams
That end in Nothing and the Grave!

Source:

Poems
Copyright 1895
Houghton, Mifflin And Company, Boston And New York
 
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