On the Musical Service Held in Commemoration of James Russell Lowell

On the Musical Service Held in Commemoration of James Russell Lowell  (1891) 
by Julia Ward Howe
February 22, 1891

Blocks of sweet sound, whose concourse seemed to build
Arches and aisles where our Beloved might walk
Free from the touch of our familiar talk,
Rapt in the ecstasy of things revealed.

Music hath power above a grave to rear
The temple of a majesty divine;
The outer glory, and the inner shrine,
And choir, where the immortal spirits cheer.

Within such bounds our Friend should be at home,
The monumental Past beneath his feet
While he looks upward, well content to greet,
Silent no more, the angels of the dome.

What visions brave should open to his ken,
Dante's great journey, Angelo's just fame,
Savonarola's heart and robe of flabe,
The galaxy of earth's illustrious men.

And as he looks and listens, in his breast
A found of deep contentment is unsealed:
"I too made answer when the Right appealed,
And sang my noblest song at Truth's behest."

Dearer than Poet's wreath or Victor's meed
Or boons fantastical for which men pray,
The reverence and service of his day,
The championship of Freedom in her need.

What shall God grant him? Mercy, peace, and rest,
The crown of large desert and soaring thought,
The lesson to his time and country brought,
The light unending of the ever blest.

This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.