Vast are the buildings man's hands have reared; sweet are the songs man's mind hath sung; lovely the faces man's hand hath painted; but the silent songs the soul hears, the invisible pictures the mind sees, the secret buildings the imagination rears, these are a thousand-fold more beautiful than any as yet embodied in this material world.
One of the things I wanted much to see when I first traveled South was the famed live-oak, the majesty and the mournfulness of which had been long sung into me. Perhaps I expected too much, as I did of the palmetto, another part of my quest, but surely there was disappointment when I was led, on the banks of the Manatee River in Florida, to see a famous live-oak.
It was now the high-road which was become the Park-hill. The carriages dashed by each other as at a race; the people shouted and sung, if not as melodiously as the barcarole of the fisher men below Lido, still with the thorough carnival joy of the south. The steamboat moved along the coasts.
Their encampments at night were often pleasant and picturesque: on some beautiful bank, beneath spreading trees, which afforded them shelter and fuel. The tents were pitched, the fires made, and the meals prepared by the voyageurs, and many a story was told, and joke passed, and song sung round the evening fire. All, however, were asleep at an early hour.
No, sir; she ain't built that a way, but she was settin' there kind of scornful, but smilin' An' later she an' me sung some hymns together. Mebbe, gen'lemen, ye've heard Miss Birdie sing?" I shook my head regretfully, but Ajax spoke enthusiastically of the lady's powers as a vocalist. He had previously described her voice to me as "a full choke, warranted to kill stone-dead at sixty yards."
Our weather here is quite as mild and beautiful as it can possibly be at Torquay. Miss Garrow, I trust, has listened to the challenges of the birds, and sung a new song. As Bezzi is secretary and librarian, I must apply to him for it, unless she will condescend to trust me with a copy. I will now give you a specimen of my iron seal, brass setting and pewter mending. "Yours ever,
Montgomery looked a little awry at the idea of having to listen to 'The Men of Harlech, sung by Dick, but in the discussion that followed as to what Kate was to do, 'The Men of Harlech' was forgotten.
Was it worship? But her friends would tell her she sang it with feeling, she argued defensively, and then asked herself candidly, what sort of feeling? She had sung Mignon's song with equal sympathy the night before. She confessed the truth; it was dramatic instinct that led her in both songs, and the Spirit of God in neither. "I am a hypocrite," she cried within herself, "and no true worshiper!"
To the above, I shall add two MEMORABLE RELATIONS: the FIRST is this. On a certain time I heard from heaven the sweetest melody, arising from a song that was sung by wives and virgins in heaven. The sweetness of their singing was like the affection of some kind of love flowing forth harmoniously.
But a man is better than a mountain; and we had been holding intercourse, if not with the reality, at least with the stalwart ghost of one of Earth's memorable sons, amid the scenes where he lived and sung.