A Poem of Felicia Hemans in Friendship's Offering, 1829/Music of Yesterday

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MUSIC OF YESTERDAY.


BY MRS. HEMANS.


As the murmur and the plaint, and the exulting swell, and the sharp scream, which the unequal gust of yesterday snatched from the strings of a wind-harp.—Coleridge.


The chord, the harp's full chord is hushed,
    The voice hath died away,
Whence music, like sweet waters, gushed,
        But yesterday.

The wakening note, the breeze-like swell,
    The full o'ersweeping tone,
The sounds that sighed "Farewell! farewell!"
        Are gone—all gone.

The love, whose burning spirit passed
    With the rich measure's flow,
The grief to which it sank at last,—
        Where are they now?


They are with the scents, by Summer's breath
    Borne from a rose now shed,
With the words from lips long sealed in death—
        For ever fled!

The sea-shell, of its native deep
    A thrilling moan retains;
But earth and air no record keep
        Of parted strains.

And all the memories, all the dreams
    They woke in floating by,
The tender thoughts, th' Elysian gleams—
        Could these too die?

They died!—as on the water's breast
    The ripple melts away,
When the breeze that stirred it sinks to rest,
        So perished they!

Mysterious in their sudden birth,
    And mournful in their close;
Passing, and finding not on earth
        Aim or repose.

Whence were they?—like the breath of flowers,
    Why thus to come and go?—
A long, long journey must be ours,
        Ere this we know!