[mp3=http://jpicforum.info/audio-poem-of-the-day/delmore-schwartz_at-a-solemn-musick.mp3]At a Solemn Musick by Delmore Schwartz[/mp3] [fieldset=At a Solemn Musick by Delmore Schwartz (1913–1966)]Let the musicians begin, Let every instrument awaken and instruct us In love’s willing river and love’s dear discipline: We wait, silent, in consent and in the penance Of patience, awaiting the serene exaltation Which is the liberation and conclusion of expiation. Now may the chief musician say: “Lust and emulation have dwelt amoung us Like barbarous kings: have conquered us: Have inhabited our hearts: devoured and ravished —With the savage greed and avarice of fire— The substance of pity and compassion.” Now may all the players play: “The river of the morning, the morning of the river Flow out of the splendor of the tenderness of surrender.” Now may the chief musician say: “Nothing is more important than summer.” And now the entire choir shall chant: “How often the astonished heart, Beholding the laurel, Remembers the dead, And the enchanted absolute, Snow’s kingdom, sleep’s dominion.” Then shall the chief musician declare: “The phoenix is the meaning of the fruit, Until the dream is knowledge and knowledge is a dream.” And then, once again, the entire choir shall cry, in passionate unity, Singing and celebrating love and love’s victory, Ascending and descending the heights of assent, climbing and chanting triumphantly: Before the morning was, you were: Before the snow shone, And the light sang, and the stone, Abiding, rode the fullness or endured the emptiness, You were: you were alone.[/fieldset] ------------------------- Delmore Schwartz, “At a Solemn Musick” from Summer Knowledge: Selected Poems (1938-1958). Copyright © 1959 by Delmore Schwartz. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.