Page:Path of Vision; pocket essays of East and West.djvu/72

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her form, her lights and shades, the very spirit of her whole being breathes and sings in the lines of a Wordsworth or a Shelly. At this height, the painter and the poet are one; or the musician brings them together, is the link between them. For a poem may not only contain a picture, or a picture, a poem, but both are often vibrant with the rythmic harmony, even the melody of song.

This brings us to the tone-poem, of which so much has been written, and little understood. What is a tone-poem? I have heard many such, no doubt; and I have read somewhat of the musical critic's abstruseness on the subject. But not until I stood one day before a mountain stream, was the matter clear in my mind. The rolling waters, the silvery music, the foaming cascades—here is Nature's Footnote, her own simple interpretation of a tone-poem. It is more than that, indeed. It is her hornbook of the arts, a symbol of the holy trinity of genius—Music and Painting and Poetry.