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To the Air of Lorelei

James Clerk Maxwell 1831 (Edinburgh, Scotland) – 1879 (Cambridge, England)



I.

Alone on a hillside of heather,
I lay with dark thoughts in my mind,
In the midst of the beautiful weather
I was deaf, I was dumb, I was blind.
I knew not the glories around me,
I counted the world as it seems,
Till a spirit of melody found me,
And taught me in visions and dreams.

II.

For the sound of a chorus of voices
Came gathering up from below,
And I heard how all Nature rejoices,
And moves with a musical flow.
O strange! we are lost in delusion,
Our ways and doings are wrong,
We are drowning, in wilful confusion,
The notes of that wonderful song.

III.

But listen, what harmony holy
Is mingling its notes with our own!
The discord is vanishing slowly,
And melts in that dominant tone.
And they that have heard it can never
Return to confusion again,
Their voices are music for ever,
And join in the mystical strain.

IV.

No mortal can utter the beauty
That dwells in the song that they sing;
They move in the pathway of duty,
They follow the steps of their King.
I would barter the world and its glory,
That vision of joy to prolong,
Or to hear and remember the story
That lies in the heart of their song.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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James Clerk Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell was a Scottish scientist in the field of mathematical physics.  more…

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