SUDDEN a light flashed on my dream,
The pensive tones of night were gone,
And I was by a dewy lawn
Lit by the sun’s first beam.
A wandering voice went twittering by,
It seemed a meadow-bird of spring;
It came, on gay and glancing wing
Fast leaping through the sky.
It bore me back to childhood’s hours,
And I was in the fields again,
And by the stream and in the glen
Hunting the wild wood flowers.
It did not seem so very strange,
And yet I felt myself a child,
As gay, as thoughtless and as wild,
As when I knew no change.
And then came tinkling on my ear,
As if to strengthen all this spell,
The grazing herd’s low meadow-bell:
O, it was sweet to hear!
And I was young-my heart was light;
The stream of years was backward rolled;
How could I feel that I’d grown old,
When Memory was so bright?
I wandered, drinking in the sound:
There is no music like to this
That floats within a dream of bliss,
When night is all around.
Through all my night there was a morn,
A little fairy morning beaming,
Like sunlight through a forest streaming
On one who walks forlorn.
And all along, where’er I wandered,
The sweet mysterious music played;
‘Twas part around me, partly made
Within me, as I pondered.
And part of it a mingled feeling
Made up of joy and harmony,
A presence that brought light to me,
A hidden self revealing.
The sea, the stars, the winds, the trees,
The stream, the waterfall, the dell,
The bird, the flowers, the meadow-bell—
1 felt that all of these
Were but the symbols of a soul
Alive with hope or memory;
The mind’s immortal harmony
That through its chambers stole.
And to the spirit’s listening ear,
Whilst slept the limbs and senses all,
Made every thing seem musical;
How could I cease to hear?
And thus it may be, when this frame
Is laid asleep in death at last;
The soul no longer overcast,
To Him from whom it came,
Shall brighten upward and be free,
And roam amid the chiming spheres,
And feel within, while thus it hears,
We brought it with us here below,
Within, without, we feel it ever;
Why should it not, as now, for ever
Through an Hereafter go!
For music, I must think, was given
To be of higher life a token,
The language by the angels spoken,
The native tongue of heaven!
Richmond, Va. June, 1836.
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