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Beyond The Gamut
by [?]

“Up through me, with melody and meaning,
Well the floods of being or subside,
The first dim desire of self for selfhood,
The last smile that puts all self aside.

“Hate is discord lessening through the ages;
Anger a false note, fear a slackened string.
Key thy soul up to the wiser manhood,
Gentler lovelier joy from spring to spring!”

Here in turn I help you, little brother,
Half surmise what you have half explained.
Store it by to ripen, and repeat it
Long hereafter as a glimpse you gained,

When the nineteenth century was dying,
From a strolling hand that held you dear,–.
Appanage of time put in your keeping
For my far-off heritor to hear.

I imagine how his eye will kindle
When he fondles you as I do now,–
Bends above you wooing like a lover,
While you yield him all your heart knows how.

I shall have been dust a thousand summers,
But my dear unprofitable dreams
Shall be part of all the good that thrills you
In the oversoul’s orchestral themes.

What is good? While God’s unfinished opus
Multitudinous harmony obeys,
Evil is a dissonance not a discord,
Soon to be resolved to happier phrase,–

From time immemorial permitted,
Lest the too sweet melody grow tame,
And, untouched of pathos or of daring,
Hearts should never know what hearts proclaim:

The unstained unconquerable valor,
The unflinching loyalties of love.
Or if evil be at worst a blunder
No musician ever could approve,

The mere bungling of a hand that faltered,–
Mine or his who bade the planets poise,–
What a thing unthinkable for smallness
Is your frayed E string one touch destroys.

How that sea-gull out across the bay there
Rows himself at leisure up the blue!
Evil the mere eddy from his wing-sweep,
Good the morning path he must pursue.

Good, you think, and evil live together,
Both persisting on from change to change
Through interminable conservation,–
Primal powers no ruin can derange?

Deed and accident alike unending
By eternal consequence of cause?
No. For good is impetus to Godward;
Evil, but our ignorance of laws.

Say I let you, spite of all endeavor,
Mar some nocturne by a single note;
Is there immortality of discord
In your failure to preserve the rote?

When the sound shall pass my sense’s confines,
Melt away to color or thin flame,
Does it still malinger in the prism,
Falsify the crucible with shame?

Hardly. For the melody and marring,
When they put the dear oblivion on,
Are become as fresh clay for the potter,
Neither good nor bad, for use anon.

Blighted rose and perfect shall commingle
In one excellence of garden mould.
Soul transfusing comeliness or blemish
Can alone lend beauty to the old.

While the streams go down among the mountains,
Gathering rills and leaving sand behind,
Till at last the ocean sea receives them,
And they lose themselves among their kind,

Man, the joy-born and the sorrow-nurtured,
(One with nothingness though all things be,–
Great lord Sirius and the moving planets
Fleet as fire-germs in the torn-up sea,–)

Linked to all his half-accomplished fellows,
Through unfrontiered provinces to range,
Man is but the morning dream of nature
Roused by some wild cadence weird and strange.

Slowly therefore, Niccolo, and softly,
With more memories than tongue can tell,
Lower me down the slope of life, and leave me
Knowing the hereafter will be well.

Close with, “Love is but the perfect knowledge,
The one thing no failure can befall;
Lovingkindness betters loving credence;
Love and only love is best of all.”

Beauty, beauty, beauty, sense and seeming,
With the soul of truth she calls her lord!
Stars and men the dust upon her garment;
Hope and fear the echoes of her word.

How escape we then, the rainbow’s brothers,
Endless being with each blade and sod?
Dust and shadow between whence and whither,
Part of the tranquillity of God.