On Hearing "The Messiah" (Performed In Gloucester Cathedral, Sept. 18, 1835.)

A poem by William Lisle Bowles

Oh, 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, ev'n 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 recks not or 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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