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Power of Music

An Orpheus! An Orpheus!--yes, Faith may grow bold,
And take to herself all the wonders of old;--
Near the stately Pantheon you'll meet with the same,
In the street that from Oxford hath borrowed its name.

His station is there;--and he works on the crowd,
He sways them with harmony merry and loud;
He fills with his power all their hearts to the brim--
Was aught ever heard like his fiddle and him!

What an eager assembly! what an empire is this!
The weary have life and the hungry have bliss; 10
The mourner is cheared, and the anxious have rest;
And the guilt-burthened Soul is no longer opprest.

As the Moon brightens round her the clouds of the night,
So he where he stands is a center of light;
It gleams on the face, there, of dusky-faced Jack,
And the pale-visaged Baker's, with basket on back.

That errand-bound 'Prentice was passing in haste--
What matter! he's caught--and his time runs to waste--
The News-man is stopped, though he stops on the fret,
And the half-breathless Lamp-lighter he's in the net! 20

The Porter sits down on the weight which he bore;
The Lass with her barrow wheels hither her store;--
If a Thief could be here he might pilfer at ease;
She sees the Musician, 'tis all that she sees!

He stands, back'd by the Wall;--he abates not his din;
His hat gives him vigour, with boons dropping in,
From the Old and the Young, from the Poorest; and there!
The one-pennied Boy has his penny to spare.

O blest are the Hearers and proud be the Hand
Of the pleasure it spreads through so thankful a Band; 30
I am glad for him, blind as he is!--all the while
If they speak 'tis to praise, and they praise with a smile.

That tall Man, a Giant in bulk and in height,
Not an inch of his body is free from delight;
Can he keep himself still, if he would? oh, not he!
The music stirs in him like wind through a tree.

There's a Cripple who leans on his Crutch; like a Tower
That long has lean'd forward, leans hour after hour!--
Mother, whose Spirit in fetters is bound,
While she dandles the babe in her arms to the sound. 40

Now, Coaches and Chariots, roar on like a stream;
Here are twenty souls happy as Souls in a dream:
They are deaf to your murmurs--they care not for you,
Nor what ye are flying, or what ye pursue!


William Wordsworth