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This poem, says Mrs. Orr, "is a picturesque comment on the power of personal association to give importance to any incident, however trifling; and tends to show that, from this point of view, no incident is more trifling than another." The enthusiastic lover of Shelley has so idealized the poet that he can hardly believe him to be a man that can be spoken to like other men. For him a falling eagle feather, with its sudden suggestion of the ethereal poet, is enough to drive away all other memories of the moor.

Aн, did you once see Shelley plain,
And did he stop and speak to you,
And did you speak to him again?
How strange it seems, and new!

But you were living before that,
And also you are living after;
And the memory I started at—
My starting moves your laughter!

I crossed a moor, with a name of its own
And a certain use in the world, no doubt,
Yet a hand's-breadth of it shines alone

'Mid the blank miles round about :

For there I picked up on the heather
And there I put inside my breast
A moulted feather, an eagle-feather!
Well, I forget the rest.



Abt Vogler.


Abt Vogler* is an utterance on music which exceeds every attempt that has ever been made in verse to set forth the secret of the most sacred and illusive of the arts. Only the wonderful lines in the Merchant of Venice come anywhere near it. It is the richest, deepest, fullest poem on music in the language. The wonder and beauty of it grow on one, as the wonder and beauty of a sky, of the sea, of a landscape, beautiful indeed and wonderful from the first, become momentarily more evident, intense and absorbing. Life, religion, and music-the Ganzen, Guten, Schönen of existence-are combined in threefold unity, apprehended and interpreted in their essential spirit.

WOULD that the structure brave, the manifold music I build, Bidding my organ obey, calling its keys to their work, Claiming each slave of the sound, at a touch, as when ́Solomon willed

Armies of angels that soar, legions of demons that lurk, Man, brute, reptile, fly,-alien of end and of aim,


Adverse, each from the other heaven-high, hell-deep removed,

Should rush into sight at once as he named the ineffable Name, And pile him a palace straight, to pleasure the princess he loved!

Would it might tarry like his, the beautiful building of mine, This which my keys in a crowd pressed and importuned to



Ah, one and all, how they helped, would dispart now and now combine,

Zealous to hasten the work, heighten their master his praise!

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*The Abt or Abbé George Joseph Vogler (born at Würzburg, Bavaria, in 1749, died at Darmstadt, 1824) was a composer, professor, kapellmeister, and writer on music. Among his pupils were Weber and Meyerbeer. The "musical instrument of his invention" was called an orchestrion. "It was, says Sir G. Grove. "a very compact organ, in which four keyboards of five octaves each, and a pedal board of thirty-six keys, with swell complete, were packed into a cube of nine feet."

3. As when Solomon willed. The reference is to legends of the Koran, which attribute to Solomon the possession of magical powers.

And one would bury his brow with a blind plunge down to hell, Burrow a while and build, broad on the roots of things, Then up again swim into sight, having based me my palace well, Founded it, fearless of flame, flat on the nether springs. 16

And another would mount and march, like the excellent minion he was,

Ay, another and yet another, one crowd but with many a



Raising my rampired walls of gold as transparent as glass,
Eager to do and die, yield each his place to the rest :
For higher still and higher (as a runner tips with fire,
When a great illumination surprises a festal night-
Outlining round and round Rome's dome from space to spire)
Up, the pinnacled glory reached, and the pride of my soul
was in sight.

In sight? Not half! for it seemed, it was certain, to match man's birth, 25

Nature in turn conceived, obeying an impulse as I ; And the emulous heaven yearned down, made effort to reach

the earth,

As the earth had done her best, in my passion, to scale the


Novel splendors burst forth, grew familiar and dwelt with mine, Not a point nor peak but found, but fixed its wandering star;

30 Meteor-moons, balls of blaze: and they did not pale nor pine, For earth had attained to heaven, there was no more near nor far.

25-40. "Verses four and five are a bold attempt to describe the indescribable, to shadow forth that strange state of clairvoyance when the soul shakes itself free from all external impressions, which Vogel tells us was the case with Schubert, and which is true of all great composers- whether in the body or out of the body, I cannot say.""-Mrs. Turnbull: Browning Soc. Papers, Pt. IV.

Nay more; for there wanted not who walked in the glare and



Presences plain in the place; or, fresh from the Protoplast, Furnished for ages to come, when a kindlier wind should blow, Lured now to begin and live, in a house to their liking at last; Or else the wonderful Dead who have passed through the body and gone,

But were back once more to breathe in an old world worth

their new :

What never had been, was now; what was, as it shall be anon; And what is,—shall I say, matched both? for I was made

perfect too.


All through my keys that gave their sounds to a wish of my


All through my soul that praised as its wish flowed visibly


All through music and me! For think, had I painted the whole, Why, there it had stood, to see, nor the process so wonder


Had I written the same, made verse-still, effect proceeds

from cause,


Ye know why the forms are fair, ye hear how the tale is told;

It is all triumphant art, but art in obedience to laws,

Painter and poet are proud, in the artist-list enrolled :—

But here is the finger of God, a flash of the will that can, 49 Existent behind all laws that made them, and, lo, they are!

34. Protoplast." The original; the thing first formed as a copy to be imitated." 49. But here is the finger of God.-The other arts are "triumphant," but are only "art in obedience to laws;" the effects of music are allied to the miraculous.

"There is no sound in nature," says Schopenhauer, "fit to serve the musician as a model, or to supply him with more than an occasional suggestion for his sublime purpose. He approaches the original sources of existence more closely than all other artists, nay, even than Nature herself."

And I know not if, save in this, such gift be allowed to man, That out of three sounds he frame, not a fourth sound, but a


Consider it well: each tone of our scale in itself is naught; It is everywhere in the world--loud, soft, and all is said : Give it to me to use! I mix it with two in my thought,

55 And, there! Ye have heard and seen: consider and bow the head!

Well, it is gone at last, the palace of music I reared;

Gone! and the good tears start, the praises that come tog slow;

For one is assured at first, one scarce can say that he feared, That he even gave it a thought, the gone thing was to go. Never to be again! But many more of the kind


As good, nay, better perchance: is this your comfort to me? To me, who must be saved because I cling with my mind

To the same, same self, same love, same God: ay, what was, shall be.

Therefore to whom turn I but to thee, the ineffable Name?

Builder and maker, thou, of houses not made with hands! What, have fear of change from thee who art ever the same? Doubt that thy power can fill the heart that thy power ex


There shall never be one lost good! What was, shall live as before;

The evil is null, is naught, is silence implying sound ; 70 What was good, shall be good, with, for evil, so much good


On the earth the broken arcs; in the heaven, a perfect round.

All we have willed or hoped or dreamed of good, shall exist; Not its semblance, but itself; no beauty, nor good, nor power Whose voice has gone forth, but each survives for the melodist, When eternity affirms the conception of an hour.


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