Ballade: On His Lady Speaking or Singing.

There is a music that doth trance the ear1
And in the porches of the body clings,2
Whereby the prisoned soul through sense may
Some cadence caught from heavenly chorusings :4
My soul needs no such ministers ; she flings5
Her cumbrous robes aside, and all unfurled6
Leaps up to listen when one speaks or sings7
Who owns the sweetest voice in all the world.8
Music can make the spirit’s vision clear,9
And train her through sonorous imagings10
To light upon some antenatal sphere11
Or brood on callow Time with prescient wings.12
My spirit out of space and time upsprings,13
And, hovering at God’s open gates empearled,14
Listens and learns unutterable things,15
Hearing the sweetest voice in all the world.16
Music to men is Death’s dim pioneer,17
And many a mystic ambassage it brings18
Of dubious hope or sadness, joy or fear,19
From that high choir where Cicely’s censer
My music knows no vague interpretings,21
No hinted bliss, nor cloudy menace hurled ;22
Only the clear refrain, ‘ I love you,’ rings23
Under the sweetest voice in all the world.24


Lady, around thy brows the King of kings25
His earthly coronal of song hath curled26
To have thee sing in Heaven, whose thousand
Wait for the sweetest voice in all the world.28