William Lisle Bowles

On Hearing

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O stay, harmonious and sweet sounds, that die
In the long vaultings of this ancient fane!
Stay, for I may not hear on earth again
Those pious airs--that glorious harmony;
Lifting the soul to brighter orbs on high,
Worlds without sin or sorrow! Ah, the strain
Has died--even the last sounds that lingeringly
Hung on the roof ere they expired!
And I
Stand in the world of strife, amidst a throng,
A throng that reckons not of death or sin!
Oh, jarring scenes! to cease, indeed, ere long;
The worm hears not the discord and the din;
But he whose heart thrills to this angel song
Feels the pure joy of heaven on earth begin!

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William Lisle Bowles