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once united him to all intelligences. Then will music, the divinest of all the arts, become what it once was —the medium of all true thought and expression.
There are times, when oppressed by the conceptions and aspirations of the soul, we strive in vain for utterance. There are no words that can convey our ideas. Then it is that we have recourse to music, for it is then only that we can truly understand its significance and power. We strive to make ourselves heard and understood, but our yearnings and our struggles meet with no response. The dark world is too much engrossed in its selfishness and sensuality. We commune only with the voices of the past, with the spirits of the departed. Are we sad and sorrowful, we crave the deep sympathy of Beethoven. If we would raise ourselves above this poor life, and catch a glimpse of a higher destiny, we listen with gratitude and admiration to Mozart and Hayden. There are a host of others, who come at our bidding, and with their deep, impassioned strains assuage our griefs and elevate our joys. It is at such times that we cease to be conscious of that dark pall that, from our infancy, hath vailed from us the beautiful in earth and sky.
From my earliest days I have felt within me e striving to be free, that music can only adequately express : a longing for a deeper sympathy, a closer communion with the good, the true, the beautiful. In childhood, those blessed and balmy days, when the fragrance of the flowers and the music of the
birds thrilled my heart with deep delight, I felt within -I knew not what-a spirit, whose plaintive, earnest voice wept and smiled, and ever yearned for a fuller, brighter manifestation. 'Twas all in vain I strove to express its meaning. To each dear, cherished thing, around which affection twined, the voice within replied, “It will not do.” The spirit cried aloud for something more. But once, but only once, it gave me rest. O, that happiest hour of all my life, that deepest joy I ever knew! The sun's last rays had kissed the verdant hill-top and trailed in beauty along the evening sky. The soft zephyr, laden with the perfume of a thousand flowers, distilled its grateful incense upon all around. The birds had caroled their last sweet lay and gone to rest. A deep, delicious languor overspread all nature. At that holy hour, when solemn thoughts, that, like the stars, come forth at night to shine within the soul's serener sky, when nature everywhere seems wrapped in meditation deep, profound, I wandered forth alone, for unto me both day and night are one. Yet, dearest of all time is summer eve, for it was at such an hour, that I first felt the mystery of that voice divine, that awoko within me such unutterable delight, that called forth from my heart such deep response, as music only hath power to awaken. O! if I had but fitting words to tell how all-absorbing, how uncontrollable, was the love awakened by those dulcettones, that softly trembled on the evening air. At that blessed hour, most blessed of all my life, when she, my Isadora,
accompanied by her guitar, breathed forth this im passioned lay :
“Give me the night, the calm, beautiful night,
“When visions of memory visit the heart,
"Spirit of love, in yon isles of the blest,
“Though the tear will escape as the heart heaves a sigh,
She ceased; but in my soul, that, until then, hal not known aught of companionship, there was created a sense of fullness and deep joy, an all-pervading consciousness that I was blessed, supremely blessed. Years have passed away, but memory of that how shall live forever.
My Isadora, but for thee,
He who may never hope to gaze upon earth or sky, who can never behold the light of the sun, nor look upon the face of a friend, can only adequately appreciate the music of the human voice. To him only can music impart its highest delight, and change his midnight darkness to a noonday splendor. Who can estimate fully the influence of music upon the heart and the life? What can do more to soften and refine the feelings? to purify and elevate the whole nature ? And why should it not exert as great a power now, as in the earlier ages of society? Why not have as much influence upon the civilized, as the savage man? Those who have been the most constantly affected by it, who are best capable of appreciating its effects, tell us that there is nothing that can so exalt and ennoble the moral and religious element. Who can calculate the influence it exerts in our churches ? What is so well designed to lift the mind from earth to the contemplation of heaven? And then, too, consider the influence of music upon our social feelings. There is nothing like the concord of sweet sounds that can so move the heart to noble deeds and lofty daring, and that, at the same time, can prompt to that spirit of kindness and disinterestedness that softens and beautifies our social intercourse. However, the power to appreciate music is the gift of God. Shall I not say it is one of the noblest vouchsafed to man? Blessed is he who
possesses it, and can appreciate it. For amidst all the vicissitudes of this strange life, he has within him that which can sustain and cheer him. It is a pleasant thing to see the smiling faces of those around you, to
tc look upon the speaking countenances of your friends, to read the burning thoughts that come forth in each glance of the eye. But the beautiful face soon becomes pale and emaciated; the eye soon loses its brilliancy and luster, the form its grace, and the step its elasticity; but the music of the voice can never die. Like the soul, it is divine and immortal. Great is his privilege for whom nature, with its myriad objects of bcanty, has power to delight-who can look upon the green, beautiful earth—who can gaze upon the heavens, adorned with its innumerable lights. But there is yet a greater boon, there is a depth in music which transcends all else.
“O, say, is there a star above,
lnere is no faculty I possess with which I would not part, rather than relinquish the high satisfaction which music affords. Gladly would I open these sealed orbs, and look out upon the vast, magnificent universe ; but I would not accept so great a boon, if it must be obtained at the sacrifice of the deep delight, of the inexpressible joy, of the unutterable happiness, which music alone can impart.