**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Poem.

Enjoy this? Share it!

Beyond The Gamut
by [?]

Softly, softly, Niccolo Amati!
What can put such fancies in your head?
There, go dream of your blue-skied Cremona,
While I ponder something you have said.

Something in that last low lovely cadence
Piercing the green dusk alone and far,
Named a new room in the house of knowledge,
Waiting unfrequented, door ajar.

While you dream then, let me unmolested
Pass in childish wonder through that door,–
Breathless, touch and marvel at the beauties
Soon my wiser elders must explore.

Ah, my Niccolo, it’s no great science
We shall ever conquer, you and I.
Yet, when you are nestled at my shoulder,
Others guess not half that we descry.

As all sight is but a finer hearing,
And all color but a finer sound,
Beauty, but the reach of lyric freedom,
Caught and quivering past all music’s bound;

Life, that faint sigh whispered from oblivion,
Harks and wonders if we may not be
Five small wits to carry one great rhythmus,
The vast theme of God’s new symphony.

As fine sand spread on a disc of silver,
At some chord which bids the motes combine,
Heeding the hidden and reverberant impulse,
Shifts and dances into curve and line,

The round earth, too, haply, like a dust-mote,
Was set whirling her assigned sure way,
Round this little orb of her ecliptic
To some harmony she must obey.

Did the Master try the taut string merely,
Give a touch, and she must throb to time?
Think you how his bow must rouse the echoes,
Quailing triumphing on, secure, sublime!

Ah, thought cannot far without the symbol!
Help me, little brother, hold the trend.
Dear good flesh, that keeps the spirit steady,
Lest it faint, grown dizzy at thought’s end!

Waves of sound (Is this your thought, Amati?),
Climbing into treble thin and clear,
Past the silence, change to waves of color,
We must say, when eye takes place of ear?

Not a bird-song, but it has for fellow
Some-wood-flower, its speechless counterpart,
Form and color moulded to one cadence,
To voice something of the wild mute heart.

Thrushes, we’ll suppose, have for their tune-mates
The gold languorous lilies of the glade;
And the whippoorwill, that plaintive dreamer,
Some dark purple flower that loves the shade.

The song-sparrow tells me what the clover
Nods about beneath the gorgeous blue;
While the snowballs tell me old love-stories
Thistle-birds half hinted as they flew.

April’s faith, in robin at his vespers,
Breathes a prayer too in my lilac blooms.
What the cloudy asters told the hillside,
My lone rainbird in the dusk resumes.

Bobolink is voice for apple blossom,
Breezy, abundant, good for human joys;
Oriole has touched the burning secret
Poppies hide with their deliberate poise.

Tiny twin-flowers, what are they but fancies,
Subtler than a field-lark can express?
Swallows make the low contented twitter
Lying just beyond the pansies’ guess.

Yellowbird, the hot noon’s warbler, pierces
Sense where tiger-lilies may not pass.
Are not crickets and all field-wise creatures
Brahmins of the universal grass?

Saffron butterflies and mute ephemera,
Doubt not, have their songs too, could we hear.
Every raindrop is a sea sonorous
As the great worlds thundering sphere to sphere.

There’s no silence and no dark forever,
Clangoring suns to us are placid stars;
Swift-foot lightning with his henchman thunder
Lags behind these gnomes in Leyden jars.

Peal and flash and thrill and scent and savour
Pulse through rhythm to rapture, and control,–
Who shall say how far along or finely?–
The infinite tectonics of the soul.

Low-bred peoples, Hottentots, Basutos,
Have a taste for scarlet and brass bands.
Our friend Monet, feeling red repulsive,
Sees blue shadows in pale purple lands.