Monday, December 29, 2008

Symphonic Studies

Currently I am over 2000 miles from St. Louis, however, I found a poem by Emma Lazarus I thought would be appropriate to share here.

Lazarus is best known for her sonnet, The New Colossus, the final lines of which are engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty:

..,"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I life my lamp beside the golden door!"

Below, however, is part of a series of sonnets she wrote, entitled: Symphonic Studies.

Symphonic Studies: IV
Emma Lazarus

Hark! from unfathomable deeps a dirge
Swells sobbing through the melancholy air:
Where love has entered, Death is also there.
The wail outrings the chafed, tumultuous surge;
Ocean and earth, the illimitable skies,
Prolong one note, a mourning for the dead,
The cry of souls not to be comforted.
What piercing music! Funeral visions rise,
And send the hot tears raining down our cheek.
We see the silent grave upon the hill
With its lone lilac-bush. O heart, be still!
She will not rise, she will not stir nor speak.
Surely, the unreturning dead are blest.
Ring on, sweet dirge, and knell us to our rest!