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POWER OF MUSIC. An Orpheus ! an Orpheus ! yes, Faith may grow
And take to herself all the wonders of old; — Near the stately Pantheon you 'll meet with the
same In the street that from Oxford hath borrowed its
His station is there; and he works on the crowd, He sways them with harmony merry and loud ; He fills with his power all their hearts to the
brim,Was aught ever heard like his fiddle and him?
What an eager assembly! what an empire is this ! The weary have life, and the hungry have bliss; The mourner is cheered, and the anxious have
rest; And the guilt-burdened soul is no longer opprest.
As the Moon brightens round her the clouds of the
night, So He, where he stands, is a centre of light; It gleams on the face, there, of dusky-browed Jack, And the pale-visaged Baker's, with basket on back.
Thaterrand-bound'Prentice was passing in haste, What matter! he's caught, — and his time runs to
waste ; The Newsman is stopped, though he stops on the
fret; And the half-breathless Lamp-lighter, - he's in
The Porter sits down on the weight which he bore; The Lass with her barrow wheels hither her
store ;If a thief could be here, he might pilfer at ease ; She sees the Musician, 't is all that she sees !
He stands, backed by the wall ; - he abates not
his din ; — His hat gives him vigor, with boons dropping in, From the old and the young, from the poorest;
and there! The one-pennied Boy has his penny to spare.
O blest are the hearers, and proud be the hand Of the pleasure it spreads through so thankful a
band ! I am glad for him, blind as he is ! — all the while, If they speak 't is to praise, and they praise with
That tall Man, a giant in bulk and in height,
Can he keep himself still, if he would ? O not he! The music stirs in him like wind through a tree.
Mark that Cripple who leans on his crutch ; like
a tower That long has leaned forward, leans hour after
hour! That Mother, whose spirit in fetters is bound, While she dandles the Babe in her arms to the
Now, coaches and chariots ! roar on like a stream; Here are twenty souls happy as souls in a dream: They are deaf to your murmurs, — they care not
for you, Nor what ye are flying, nor what ye pursue !
What crowd is this? what have we here? we must
not pass it by; A Telescope upon its frame, and pointed to the sky: Long is it as a barber's pole, or mast of little boat, Some little pleasure skiff, that doth on Thames's
The Showman chooses well his place, 't is Leices
ter's busy Square, And is as happy in his night, for the heavens are
blue and fair; Calm, though impatient, is the crowd; each stands
ready with the fee, And envies him that is looking; — what an insight
must it be!
Yet, Showman, where can lie the cause ? Shall
thy Implement have blame, A boaster, that, when he is tried, fails, and is put
to shame? Or is it good as others are, and be their eyes in
fault? Their eyes, or minds ? or, finally, is yon resplendent
Is nothing of that radiant pomp so good as we have
here? Or gives a thing but small delight that never can
be dear ? The silver moon with all her vales, and hills of
mightiest fame, Doth she betray us when they 're seen? or are
they but a name?
Or is it rather that conceit rapacious is and
strong, And bounty never yields so much but it seems to
do her wrong?
Or is it, that when human Souls a journey long
have had, And are returned into themselves, they cannot
but be sad?
Or must we be constrained to think that these
Spectators rude, Poor in estate, of manners base, men of the mul
titude, Have souls which never yet have risen, and there
fore prostrate lie? No, no, this cannot be ; -men thirst for power
Does, then, a deep and earnest thought the bliss
ful mind employ Of him who gazes, or has gazed ? a grave and
steady joy, That doth reject all show of pride, admits no out
ward sign, Because not of this noisy world, but silent and
Whatever be the cause, 't is sure that they who
pry and pore Seem to meet with little gain, seem less happy
than before : One after one they take their turn, nor have I one
espied That doth not slackly go away, as if dissatisfied.