The Great War

from The Man Who Saw, an electronic edition


THE language wherein Goethe did record

Wedlock of Christian Art with pagan Joy--

Of Faust with Helen, and Calvary with Troy--

That tongue I speak not; but at yon key-board,

Which is the grandchild of the harpsichord,

Rapt have I sat and listened from a boy,

While Schubert's, Schumann's gold without alloy

Flashed amid thunder, from my own hands poured.

Bach, his great coils by giant shuttles woven,

Companioned oft my youth ; and oft this soul

By Wagner's Siegfried-sword was pierced and cloven:

And with the sorrowing Earth would I condole,

Hearing Man's masterpiece of dissonance roll

From the same mighty breast that nursed Beethoven.