Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935). Collected Poems. 1921.

II. The Children of the Night

45. L’envoy

NOW in a thought, now in a shadowed word,

Now in a voice that thrills eternity,

Ever there comes an onward phrase to me

Of some transcendent music I have heard;

No piteous thing by soft hands dulcimered,

No trumpet crash of blood-sick victory,

But a glad strain of some vast harmony

That no brief mortal touch has ever stirred.

There is no music in the world like this,

No character wherewith to set it down,

No kind of instrument to make it sing.

No kind of instrument? Ah, yes, there is;

And after time and place are overthrown,

God’s touch will keep its one chord quivering.