THE PRELUDE TO "TRISTAN AND ISOLDE"

Sudden the silence shattered into sound;
     Cloud bursts of harmony broke on my ear;
     And then it seemed to me that you were near!
My heart rose up to meet you with a bound;
The melody gushed fuller, and I found
     Your hand in mine, and life grew strangely dear;
     And in the flood of music swelling clear
And high and strong, all things save love were drowned.

A clamorous sea of chords swept o'er my soul,
     Submerging reason.  Mutinous desire
       Stood at the helm; the stars were in eclipse;
I heard wild billows beat, and thunders roll;
     And as the universe flamed into fire,
       I swooned upon the reef of coral lips.

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Munseys Monthly 12 (December 1894): 288.


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