Saint Cecilia

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What means this high and more than mortal strain?
'Tis St. Cecilia and her wondrous lyre,
And from its strings with soft, celestial fire
Comes melody that thrills the soul like pain.
And love divine is every hymn's refrain;
  For the most perfect harp of her great heart
  Vibrates to holy impulses that part
Her lips in songs that loftiest heights attain.

Far in the star-bright heavens cherubim
  Lean o'er the golden gates of paradise,
With large, love-lighted eyes, when from the dim,
  Low land the strains so passing sweet arise,
Smiling to think in human hearts should be
The flame which feeds their burning harmony.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.