1 HARK! some wild trumpeterâ€”some strange musician, Hovering unseen in air, vibrates capricious tunes to-night.
I hear thee, trumpeterâ€”listening, alert, I catch thy notes, Now pouring, whirling like a tempest round me, Now low, subduedâ€”now in the distance lost.
2 Come nearer, bodiless oneâ€”haply, in thee resounds Some dead composerâ€”haply thy pensive life Was fillâ€™d with aspirations highâ€”unformâ€™d ideals, Waves, oceans musical, chaotically surging, That now, ecstatic ghost, close to me bending, thy cornet echoing, pealing, Gives out to no oneâ€™s ears but mineâ€”but freely gives to mine, That I may thee translate.
3 Blow, trumpeter, free and clearâ€”I follow thee, While at thy liquid prelude, glad, serene, The fretting world, the streets, the noisy hours of day, withdraw; A holy calm descends, like dew, upon me, I walk, in cool refreshing night, the walks of Paradise, I scent the grass, the moist air, and the roses; Thy song expands my numbâ€™d, imbonded spiritâ€”thou freest, launchest me, Floating and basking upon Heavenâ€™s lake.
4 Blow again, trumpeter! and for my sensuous eyes, Bring the old pageantsâ€”show the feudal world.
What charm thy music works!â€”thou makest pass before me, Ladies and cavaliers long deadâ€”barons are in their castle hallsâ€”the troubadours are singing; Armâ€™d knights go forth to redress wrongsâ€”some in quest of the Holy Grail: I see the tournamentâ€”I see the contestants, encased in heavy armor, seated on stately, champing horses; I hear the shoutsâ€”the sounds of blows and smiting steel: I see the Crusadersâ€™ tumultuous armiesâ€”Hark! how the cymbals clang! Lo! where the monks walk in advance, bearing the cross on high!
5 Blow again, trumpeter! and for thy theme, Take now the enclosing theme of allâ€”the solvent and the setting; Love, that is pulse of allâ€”the sustenace and the pang; The heart of man and woman all for love; No other theme but loveâ€”knitting, enclosing, all-diffusing love.
O, how the immortal phantoms crowd around me! I see the vast alembic ever workingâ€”I see and know the flames that heat the world; The glow, the blush, the beating hearts of lovers, So blissful happy someâ€”and some so silent, dark, and nigh to death: Love, that is all the earth to loversâ€”Love, that mocks time and space; Love, that is day and nightâ€”Love, that is sun and moon and stars; Love, that is crimson, sumptuous, sick with perfume; No other words, but words of loveâ€”no other thought but Love.
6 Blow again, trumpeterâ€”conjure warâ€™s Wild alarums. Swift to thy spell, a shuddering hum like distant thunder rolls; Lo! where the armâ€™d men hastenâ€”Lo! mid the clouds of dust, the glint of bayonets; I see the grime-faced cannoniersâ€”I mark the rosy flash amid the smokeâ€”I hear the cracking of the guns: â€”Nor war aloneâ€”thy fearful music-song, wild player, brings every sight of fear, The deeds of ruthless brigandsâ€”rapine, murderâ€”I hear the cries for help! I see ships foundering at seaâ€”I behold on deck, and below deck, the terrible tableaux.
7 O trumpeter! methinks I am myself the instrument thou playest! Thou meltâ€™st my heart, my brainâ€”thou movest, drawest, changest them, at will: And now thy sullen notes send darkness through me; Thou takest away all cheering lightâ€”all hope: I see the enslaved, the overthrown, the hurt, the opprest of the whole earth; I feel the measureless shame and humiliation of my raceâ€”it becomes all mine; Mine too the revenges of humanityâ€”the wrongs of agesâ€”baffled feuds and hatreds; Utter defeat upon me weighsâ€”all lost! the foe victorious! (Yet â€™mid the ruins Pride colossal stands, unshaken to the last; Endurance, resolution, to the last.)
8 Now, trumpeter, for thy close, Vouchsafe a higher strain than any yet; Sing to my soulâ€”renew its languishing faith and hope; Rouse up my slow beliefâ€”give me some vision of the future; Give me, for once, its prophecy and joy.
O glad, exulting, culminating song! A vigor more than earthâ€™s is in thy notes! Marches of victoryâ€”man disenthrallâ€™dâ€”the conqueror at last! Hymns to the universal God, from universal Manâ€”all joy! A reborn race appearsâ€”a perfect World, all joy! Women and Men, in wisdom, innocence and healthâ€”all joy! Riotous, laughing bacchanals, fillâ€™d with joy!
War, sorrow, suffering goneâ€”The rank earth purgedâ€”nothing but joy left! The ocean fillâ€™d with joyâ€”the atmosphere all joy! Joy! Joy! in freedom, worship, love! Joy in the ecstacy of life! Enough to merely be! Enough to breathe! Joy! Joy! all over Joy!