Elizabeth Barrett Browning




Perplexed Music

Affectionately inscribed to E.J.

Experience, like a pale musician, holds
A dulcimer of patience in his hand,
Whence harmonies, we cannot understand
Of God’s will in his worlds, the strain un-
           folds
In sad-perplexèd minors: deathly colds
Fall on us while we hear, and countermand
Our sanguine heart back from the fancy-
           land
With nightingale in visionary wolds.
We murmur ‘Where is any certain tune
Or measured music in such notes as these?’
But angels, leaning from the golden seat,
Are not so minded; their fine ear hath won
The issue of completed cadences,
And, smiling down the stars, they whisper – 
           SWEET


spoken = Genevieve Perdue