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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

On Music

Thomas Moore (1779–1852)

WHEN thro’ life unblest we rove,

Losing all that made life dear,

Should some notes we used to love

In days of boyhood, meet our ear,

Oh! how welcome breathes the strain!

Wakening thoughts that long have slept;

Kindling former smiles again

In faded eyes that long have wept.

Like the gale, that sighs along

Beds of Oriental flowers,

Is the grateful breath of song,

That once was heard in happier hours;

Filled with balm, the gale sighs on,

Though the flowers have sunk in death;

So, when pleasure’s dream is gone,

Its memory lives in Music’s breath.

Music! oh how faint, how weak

Language fades before thy spell!

Why should Feeling ever speak,

When thou canst breathe her soul so well?

Friendship’s balmy words may feign,

Love’s are even more false than they;

Oh! ’tis only Music’s strain

Can sweetly soothe, and not betray.