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By W. B. Yeats (auth.)

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Sample text

The very act of alternation has a peculiar charm. Now to read these records of music of the eighth and seventeenth centuries one would think that the Church and the opera were united in the desire to make beautiful speech more beautiful, but I need not say if we put such a hope to the test we discover it is groundless. There is no ecstasy in the delivery of ritual, and recitative is certainly not treated by opera-singers in a way that makes us wish to imitate them. When beginners attempt to speak to musical notes they fall naturally into the intoning as heard throughout our lands in our various religious rituals.

Ideas oj. (jood and evil regulated speech of Milton, or anything that is formless and void from anything that has form and beauty. The orator, the speaker who has some little of the great tradition of his craft, differs from the debater very largely because he understands how to assume that subtle monotony of voice which runs through the nerves like fire. Even when one is speaking to a single note sounded faintly on the psaltery, if one is sufficiently practised to speak on it without thinking about it one can get an endless variety of expression.

J? b j ) O'Driscoll drove with a song The wild duck and the J$@ p- pIr p pr· 9 Ir· From the tall and the tufted reeds )1) IJ J Of the drear Hart drake I ,.. I Lake. THE SONG OF THE OLD MOTHER W. B. Y. Ji J '1 . rise in the dawn, and kneel and blow Till the ... IB A ;; tJl r · seed of the fire 26 fticker and glow; And then I must scrub and Speaking to the Psaltery ; bake .. 4 \ 1; and sweep Till ... J1f4 Ji matching young ~ It' of lie ' t. Jl r And the \.. ojl I dream ~ ~ for • Jl bosom blink Ji J ~ Jl in their bed l a IB l J And the tress; ) Jg Of the )i ) i - die- ness, And they sigh .

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