Page:Female Prose Writers of America.djvu/143

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121
LYDIA M. CHILD.

ingly to his ear, to catch the faint vibration of its strings, it seems as if “the angels were whispering to him.” As his fingers sweep across the strings, the angels pass into his soul, give him their tones, and look out from his eyes, with the wondrous beauty of inspiration. His motions sway to the music, like a tree in the winds; for soul and body accord. In fact, “his soul is but a harp, which an infinite breath modulates; his senses are but strings, which weave the passing air into rhythm and cadence.”

If it be true, as has been said, that a person ignorant of the rules of music, who gives himself up to its influence, without knowing whence it comes, or whither it goes, experiences, more than the scientific, the passionate joy of the composer himself, in his moments of inspiration, then was I blest in my ignorance. While I listened, music was to my soul what the atmosphere is to my body; it was the breath of my inward life. I felt, more deeply than ever, that music is the highest symbol of the infinite and holy. I heard it moan plaintively over the discords of society, and the dimmed beauty of humanity. It filled me with inexpressible longing to see man at one with Nature and with God; and it thrilled me with joyful prophecy that the hope would pass into glorious fulfilment.

With renewed force I felt what I have often said, that the secret of creation lay in music. “A voice to light gave being.” Sound led the stars into their places, and taught chemical affinities to waltz into each other’s arms.

“By one pervading spirit
Of tones and numbers all things are controlled;
As sages taught, where faith was found, to merit
Initiation in that mystery old.”

Music is the soprano, the feminine principle, the heart of the universe. Because it is the voice of Love,—because it is the highest type, and aggregate expression of passional attraction, therefore it is infinite; therefore it pervades all space, and transcends all being, like a divine influx. What the tone is to the word, what expression is to the form, what affection is to thought, what the