James M. Whitfield's America and Other Poems

  Table of Contents:
Cover Page
"Christmas Hymn"
"Lines on the Death of J. Quincy Adams"
"To Cinque"
"New Year's Hymn"
"To A.H."
"How Long"
"The Arch Apostate"
"The Misanthropist"
"A Hymn"
"Yes! strike again that sounding string"
"To -------"
"Prayer of the Oppressed"
"To S.A.T."
"Delusive Hope"
"To M.E.A."
"A Hymn"
"Ode for the Fourth of July"
"Midnight Musings"
"Ode to Music"
"Stanzas for the First of August"
"The North Star"
(text of all poems)

  Ode to Music p1
"Ode to Music"
close-up 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

THERE’S music wheresoe’er we roam ---
‘T is heard in ocean’s crested foam,
And in the billows’ deafening roar,
Which madly burst upon the shore:
They sing of Heaven’s eternal Lord,
Who calms their raging by his word.

There’s music in the gentle breeze,
which softly blows among the trees,
Shaking fresh fragrance from the flowers,
In blooming fields and shady bowers;
They sing of Him whose power below,
Caused trees, and grass, and flowers to grow

There’s music in the numerous herds,
   Scattered about o’er hills and plains,
And in the flocks of feathered birds,
   Who, in a thousand varied strains,
Praise Him whose all-creating word
Brought into being beast and bird.

Ode to Music p2 There’s music in the tempest’s sound,
   That darkly sweeps across the wave,
And hangs its shadowy pall around
   The ship-wrecked sailor’s ocean grave;
Where the wild waste of waters yell,
Through caverns deep and dark as hell!

It speaks of His almighty power,
   Whose arm is ever stretched to save,
Who, in death’s dark and trying hour,
   Can shed a halo round the grave;
And make the ocean’s yawning cavern,
A glorious entrance into Heaven.

There’s music in the thunder’s roar,
   Which peals along the vault of heaven,
While torrents from the mountains pour,
   And trees by the dread bolt are riven;
Seen by the fiery element,
The earth, and sky, and sea seem blent.

It tells of Him whose wondrous power
   Can make the lightning do his will,

  Ode to Music p3 And sends the cool refreshing shower
   Upon the just and unjust still;
And whispers in a still, small voice,
To all the sons of earth, rejoice!

But leave this scene of doubts and fears,
   And swift on fancy’s pinions fly,
And hear the music of the spheres
   Resounding sweetly through the sky;
They sing of Him, th’ incarnate Word
Man’s Saviour, Heaven’s Almighty Lord!

Where’er we turn, music is found,
   With all its Heaven-born power to charm,
To lull us with its soothing sound,
   And shed around a holy balm ---
Pure as the thrilling, heavenly strains
From angels’ harps, on Judah’s plains.

Shall man, rescued from death and hell,
   Shall he alone refuse to raise
His feeble voice, the song to swell
   Unto his great Creator’s praise?

  Ode to Music p4 While seraphs and archangels join
The blissful harmony divine.

Then let our tongues fresh music make,
   And sound his wondrous praise abroad;
And when the Universe shall quake,
   And Nature quail before her God,
We’ll join the angels’ choir above,
And sing our Lord’s unchanging love.

Introduction Biography Contexts Critical Voices Teaching Approaches Bibliography