The Quest After Music

A VOICE, a voice is calling through the night.
Sleepers, awaken ! Get each one his light,
His woodman’s axe to cleave the undergrowth
Of claspèd boughs to human entry loath,
His keen-wrought sword to fight with savage foe,
His fair-rigged skiff to cross where rivers flow.
’T were like the rush of feet from diverse ways
Where men have seen a distant city blaze.
A voice, a voice is calling through the night.
Some being calls! Our fathers judged aright
Who peopled sound of wave and song of wind
With multitudinous things of spirit kind.
Some being calls! Some being hides within
The magic tuning of the violin,
The glad rejoicing of the golden horn,
The hautboys mournful as a ghost forlorn,
The cymbal’s sweep that mocks a wild typhoon,
The gentle flute, the harp, the deep bassoon.
Some being calls ! and they, the called, are blest
Who yield their lives unto a fruitless quest,
Who still pursuing have not cried “Too late!”
Till Music finds them dead beside her gate.
Mary Boole Hinton.