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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1856
AUTHOR: W. H. Auden (1907–73)
QUOTATION: Eagerly, musician,
Sweep your string,
So we may sing,
Elated, optative,
Our several voices
Playfully contending,
Not interfering
But co-inhering,
For all within
The cincture of the sound
Is holy ground,
Where all are Brothers,
None faceless Others.
Let mortals beware
Of words, for
With words we lie,
Can say peace
When we mean war,
Foul thought speak fair
And promise falsely,
But song is true:
Let music for peace
Be the paradigm,
For peace means to change
At the right time,
As the World-Clock,
Goes Tick and Tock.
So may the story
Of our human city
Presently move
Like music, when
Begotten notes
New notes beget,
Making the flowing
Of time a growing,
Till what it could be,
At last it is,
Where even sadness
Is a form of gladness,
Where Fate is Freedom,
Grace and Surprise.
ATTRIBUTION: W. H. AUDEN, “Hymn to the United Nations,” music by Pablo Casals.—Text in The New York Times, October 25, 1971, p. 40.
SUBJECTS: United Nations