Poems (Botta)/A Farewell to Ole Bull


There was a fountain in my heart
Whose deeps had not been stirred;
A thirst for music in my soul
My ear had never heard;—

A feeling of the incomplete
To all bright things allied;
A sense of something beautiful,
Unfilled, unsatisfied.

But, waked beneath thy master-hand,
Those trembling chords have given
A foretaste of that deep, full life
That I shall know in Heaven.

In that resistless spell, for once,
The vulture of Unrest,
That whets its beak upon my heart,
Lies, charmed, within my breast.

Pale Memory and flushed Hope forget;
Ambition sinks to sleep;
And o’er my spirit falls a bliss
So perfect that I weep.

Oh, Stranger! though thy Farewell notes
Now on the breeze may sigh,
Yet, treasured in our thrilling hearts,
Their echo shall not die.

Thou’st brought us from thy Northern home
Old Norway’s forest tones,
Wild melodies from ancient lands,
Of palaces and thrones.

Take back the “Prairie’s Solitude,”
The voice of that dry sea,
Whose billowy breast is dyed with flowers,
Made audible by thee.

Take back with thee what ne’er before
To Music’s voice was given,
The anthem that “Niagara” chaunts
Unceasingly to Heaven;—

The spirit of a People waked
By Freedom’s battle cry;
The “Memory of their Washington,”
Their song of victory.

Take back with thee a loftier Fame,
A prouder niche in Art,
Fresh laurels from our virgin soil,
And—take a Nation’s heart!