The fiddler in the tavern, the glee, the long-strung sailor-
The lowing cattle, bleating
sheep, the crowing cock at dawn.
All songs of current lands come sounding round me,
The German airs of friendship, wine and love,
ballads, merry jigs and dances, English warbles,
Chansons of France, Scotch tunes, and o'er the rest,
Across the stage with pallor on her face, yet lurid passion,
Stalks Norma brandishing the dagger in her
I see poor crazed Lucia's eyes' unnatural gleam,
Her hair down her back falls loose and dishevel'd.
I see where Ernani walking the bridal garden,
Amid the scent of night-roses, radiant, holding his bride
Hears the infernal call, the death-pledge of the horn.
To crossing swords and gray hairs bared to heaven,
The clear electric base and baritone of the world,
trombone duo, Libertad forever!
From Spanish chestnut trees' dense shade,
By old and heavy convent walls a wailing song,
Song of lost
love, the torch of youth and life quench'd in
Song of the dying swan, Fernando's heart is breaking.
Awaking from her woes at last retriev'd Amina sings,
Copious as stars and glad as morning light the
torrents of her
(The teeming lady comes,
The lustrous orb, Venus contralto, the blooming mother,
Sister of loftiest gods,
Alboni's self I hear.)
I hear those odes, symphonies, operas,
I hear in the William Tell the music of an arous'd and angry
hear Meyerbeer's Huguenots, the Prophet, or Robert,
Gounod's Faust, or Mozart's Don Juan.
I hear the dance-music of all nations,
The waltz, some delicious measure, lapsing, bathing me in bliss,
bolero to tinkling guitars and clattering castanets.
I see religious dances old and new,
I hear the sound of the Hebrew lyre,
I see the crusaders marching
bearing the cross on high, to the
martial clang of cymbals,
I hear dervishes monotonously chanting, interspers'd
frantic shouts, as they spin around turning always
I see the rapt religious dances of the Persians and the Arabs,
Again, at Eleusis, home of Ceres, I see
the modern Greeks
I hear them clapping their hands as they bend their bodies,
I hear the metrical
shuffling of their feet.
I see again the wild old Corybantian dance, the performers
wounding each other,
see the Roman youth to the shrill sound of flageolets throwing
and catching their weapons,
As they fall on
their knees and rise again.
I hear from the Mussulman mosque the muezzin calling,
I see the worshippers
within, nor form nor sermon, argument
But silent, strange, devout, rais'd glowing heads, ecstatic
hear the Egyptian harp of many strings,
The primitive chants of the Nile boatmen,
The sacred imperial
hymns of China,
To the delicate sounds of the king, (the stricken wood and
Or to Hindu flutes and
the fretting twang of the vina,
A band of bayaderes.
Now Asia, Africa leave me, Europe seizing inflates me,
To organs huge and bands I hear as from vast
Luther's strong hymn Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott,
Rossini's Stabat Mater dolorosa,
floating in some high cathedral dim with gorgeous color'd
The passionate Agnus Dei or Gloria
Composers! mighty maestros!
And you, sweet singers of old lands, soprani, tenori, bassi!
you a new bard caroling in the West,
Obeisant sends his love.