There is a voice of magic power
To charm the old, delight the young —
In lordly hall, in rustic bower,
In every clime, in every tongue,
Howe’er its sweet vibration run,
In whispers low, in poet’s lays,
There lives not one who has not hung
Enraptured on the voice of praise!
The timid child, at that soft voice,
Lifts, for a moment’s space, the eye;
It bids the fluttering hearts rejoice,
And stays the step prepared to fly:
‘Tis pleasure breathes that short, quick sigh,
And flushes o’er that rosy face;
Whilst shame and infant modesty
Shrink back with hesitating grace.
The hero, when a people’s voice
Proclaims their darling victor near,
Feels he not then his soul rejoice,
Their shouts of love, or praise to hear?
Yes! fame to generous minds is dear; —
It pierces to their inmost core;
He weeps, who never shed a tear;
He trembles, who ne’er shook before.
The poet, too — ah! well I dream
Small is the need the table to tell —
Who knows not that his thought, his dream,
On thee at noon, at midnight dwell?
Who knows not that thy magic spell
Can charm his every care away?
In memory cheer his gloomy cell;
In hope can lend a deathless ray?
‘Tis sweet to watch affection’s eye;
To mark the tear with love replete;
To feel the softly breathing sigh
When friendship’s lips the tones repeat:
But, oh! a thousand times more sweet,
The praise of those we love to hear!
Like balmy showers in summer heat,
It falls upon the greedy ear.
The lover lulls his rankling wound
The mother listens for the sound
Of her young warrior’s growing fame.
Thy voice can soothe the mourning dame,
Of her soul’s wedded partner riven,
Who cherishes the hallow’d flame,
Parted on earth, to meet in heaven!
That voice can quiet passion’s mood,
And from the wise and from the good
It breathes of immortality!
There is a lisp, there is an eye,
Where most I love to see it shine,
To hear it speak, to feel it sigh—
My mother! need I say, ’tis thine!
(Mary Russell Mitford)
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Based on Keywords: sigh-