Music in Moonlight

WAS ever music lovelier than to-night!
’T was Schumann’s Song of Moonlight; o’er the vale
The new moon lingered near the western hills;
The hearth-fire glimmered low; but melting tones
Blotted all else from memory and thought,
And all the world was music! Wondrous hour!
Then sank anew into our trancèd hearts
One secret and deep lesson of sweet sound
The loveliness that from unloveliness
Outsprings, flooding the soul with poignant joy,
As the harmonious chords to harsh succeed,
And the rapt spirit climbs through pain to bliss:
Eternal question, answer infinite;
As day to night replies; as light to shade;
As summer to rough winter; death to life, —
Death not a closing, but an opening door,
A deepened life, a prophecy fulfilled.
Not in the very present comes reply,
But in the flow of time. Should the song cease
Too soon; ere yet the rooted answer blooms,
Lo, — what a pang of loss and dissonance;
But time, with the resolving and intended tone
Heals all, and makes all beautiful and right.
Even so our mortal music-makers frame
Their messages melodious to men;
Even so the Eterne his mighty harmonies
Fashions, supreme, of life, and fate, and time.