Better — than Music! For I — who heard it —

"Better — than Music! For I — who heard it —" is the eighth song in Leo Smit's song cycle The Celestial Thrush. The Celestial Thrush is the second of Smit's six song cycles setting the poetry of Emily Dickinson.

For more information about Leo Smit's Emily Dickinson song cycles, please visit the pages for The Ecstatic Pilgrimage and Leo Smit.

For inquiries about Leo Smit and to obtain sheet music, please contact Nils Vigeland at [email protected].

Date: 1990Composer: Leo SmitText: Emily DickinsonSong Collection: The Celestial Thrush

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Better — than Music! For I — who heard it — (poem 503)
by Emily Dickinson

Better — than Music! For I — who heard it —
I was used — to the Birds — before —
This — was different — ‘Twas Translation —
Of all tunes I knew — and more —

‘Twasn’t contained — like other stanza —
No one could play it — the second time —
But the Composer — perfect Mozart —
Perish with him — that Keyless Rhyme!

So — Children — told how Brooks in Eden —
Bubbled a better — Melody —
Quaintly infer — Eve’s great surrender —
Urging the feet — that would — not — fly —

Children — matured — are wiser — mostly —
Eden — a legend — dimly told —
Eve — and the Anguish — Grandame’s story —
But — I was telling a tune — I heard —

Not such a strain — the Church — baptizes —
When the last Saint — goes up the Aisles —
Not such a stanza splits the silence —
When the Redemption strikes her Bells —

Let me not spill — its smallest cadence —
Humming — for promise — when alone —
Humming — until my faint Rehearsal —
Drop into tune — around the Throne —

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