Sibelius (Echoes of His Second Symphony)


I listened to Sibelius one weekend end of day,
then walked the pine-ripe woods to hear
the echoes of his symphonay,

while above the bottle-brush limbs of larch
two warblers lofted trills and piping and the deep
and toughened chords of bass and cello rose

with them from the darkened umbrous earth, and
the magic of aurora dancing on the blackened roof of night,
and tundra, and men in battle, and the beauty of deep snow

all reach our hearing in the Helsinki concert hall
that lies on the muted avenue of our mythic imagination
and, then again, when the swells of the

composer's ocean, having reached full circle
round the planet, come surging through my hearing
once more, spindrift and wave crest-froth

dancing before my eyes, a paean of triumph
and beauty, I stare, and embrace.

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