University of Virginia Library

Search this document 

a web of many textures

expand section 
expand section 


Music, in the concert-room, in the theatre, in the
church, is very excellent. In loving oneness with it,
the spirit is lifted up and made better through its influence.
But it is at home that the influence of music
exerts its greatest power, where from lips that we love
come the sounds of song in home strains, that fill the
house with celestial harmonies. When the day's endeavor
is over, and the mind, harassed with care, seeks
the relief of home; then, when, in slippers, we dissolve
connection with the world for a time, and shut it out
with the closing shutters, and we longing pray for the
nepenthe that shall lull us into forgetfulness, for a brief
season at least, of perplexing and vexatious business,
steals in upon us the voice of wife or child in some
sonnet of domestic tenderness, and we melt to tears, as
its mellifluous note trembles upon the sensitive ear like
the song the angels sing. Blessed exorcist of blue demons
is this domestic song. How they vanish in the
clouds that leave the brow and the heart! The room is
redolent with the frankincense of cheerfulness thrown
abroad from melodious censers by the invisible agencies,
who surround us with constant surprises of good,


Page 59
and love to abide with us when we open our hearts to
“But when the heart is full of din,
And doubt beside the portal waits,
They can but listen at the gates,
And hear the household jar within.”
Enchanting power of domestic song! Greatest and
best of instrumentalities! The magnificence and stately
grandeur of genius may sound on loftier strings, but in
the littleness of song, the sweet wood-notes of home
delight, the heart finds its truest solace, and asks for
nothing more.