Song of the Spirit

Photo by Patricia Curtis's collection free for download.
Photo from Patricia Curtis collection free for download.

Too sweet and too subtle for pen or for tongue
In phrases unwritten and measures unsung,
As deep and as strange as the sounds of the sea,
Is the song that my spirit is singing to me.

-from Song of the Spirit
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)

Too sweet and too subtle for pen or for tongue,
my thoughts dance and flutter on gossamer wings.
Elusively trapped in the webs I have spun
feelings that from my soul’s core have been wrung
in poems conceived when my heart soars and sings.
Too sweet and too subtle for pen or for tongue.

In phrases unwritten and measures unsung,
I long to give birth to them, set them all free.
The source I must find from which they have sprung,
then gathers the jewels I will find there among,
that I might expound them in my poetry.
In phrases unwritten and measures unsung.

As deep and as strange as the sounds of the sea,
where voices of whales transverse distance and time,
all coming together in sweet harmony,
a harvest of gold born of my own psyche
are verses all written in metrical rhyme.
As deep and as strange as the sounds of the sea.

Is the song that my spirit is singing to me
forever to be an elusive refrain
that haunts me and taunts me with sweet melody
while mem’ry deserts me,  ignores every plea?
I cannot quite grasp or its beauty retain:
Is the song that my spirit is singing to me.

© Patricia Curtis, 2011

 

Inspired by:

ella_wheeler_wilcox_signed

Song of the Spirit

Too sweet and too subtle for pen or for tongue
In phrases unwritten and measures unsung,
As deep and as strange as the sounds of the sea,
Is the song that my spirit is singing to me.

In the midnight and tempest when forest trees shiver,
In the roar of the surf, and the rush of the river,
In the rustle of leaves and the fall of the rain,
And on the low breezes I catch the refrain.

From the vapors that frame and envelope the earth,
And beyond, from the realms where my spirit had birth,
From the mists of the land and the fogs of the sea,
Forever and ever the song comes to me.

I know not its wording–its import I know–
For the rythm is broken, the measure runs low,
When vexed or allured by the things of this life
My soul is merged into its pleasures or strife.

When up to the hill tops of beauty and light
My soul like a lark in the ether takes flight,
And the white gates of heaven shine brighter and nearer,
The song of the spirit grows sweeter and clearer.

Up, up to the realms where no mortal has trod–
Into space and infinity near to my God–
With whiteness, and silence, and beautiful things,
I am borne when the voice of eternity sings.

When once in the winds or the drop of the rain
Thy spirit shall listen and hear the refrain,
Thy soul shall soar up like a bird on the breeze,
And the things that have pleased thee will never more please.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 1850-1919

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