On Hearing a Symphony of Beethoven

English Poems Index

On Hearing a Symphony of Beethoven :

Sweets sounds, Oh, beautiful music, do not cease!

Reject me not into the world again.

With you alone is excellence and peace,

Mankind made plausible, his purpose plain

Enchanted in your air benign and shrewd,

With limbs a-sprawl and empty faces pale,

The spiteful and the stingy and rude

Sleep like the scullions in the fairy - tale.

This moment is the best the world can give:

The tranquil blossom on the tortured stem.

Reject me not, sweet sounds; oh, let me live,

Till Doom espy my towers and scatter them,

A city spell-bound under the aging Sun.

Music my rampart, and my only one.

By Edna St. Vincent Millay

About The Poet :

Edna St. Vincent Millay, a Pulitzer Prize winner, is an American poet.

Words to Know :

Plausible : reasonable and likely to be true

Benign : gentle

A-sprawl : lying or sitting with one's arms or legs stretched out

Spiteful : nasty / disapproving

Scullions : boys employed to work in a kitchen

Tranquil : calm

Doom : death

Espy : see suddenly

Rampart : a wide pile of earth or a stone-wall built to protect a castle or city
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