An Apology for Music

The College Years

For Kim, who ponders these things far more than I

 An Apology for Music

 And my frail fingers pause on the keys.  Where

Has that dark cluster of Chopin chords gone?

Sobs it still on this chill afternoon air?

 Lingers it in the listening ears of one

Who sits attentive, yet smiles at a dream?

Has it lived, and died, for my joy alone?

And can my solitary peace redeem

Hours of effort—poured in an instant,

Hurried into an impetuous scheme

Of sound that rushes to climax, then slants

Into the unfilled silence and trembles

At its presumption? How dare it enchant

But one soul, one soul that slowly rambles

Through life, knowing His truth, praising His song,

While thousands drift songless to death? Mumble

Excuses, shirk the guilt  .  . .  for I belong

Here, in this empty chapel, where music

Soars for an unheard moment.  Is it wrong

To rejoice in sound’s rippling rhetoric?

11/10/83,  Lookout Mountain, Georgia

From “The Covenant of Life” window, designed by Henry Willett, in Dora Maclellan Brown Chapel

NOTE: All text on this page is written by Sandra Fleming and is copyrighted @ 1982 by Sandra Fleming.

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