The Messiah

August 09, 2017

I have been unable to get out of my head

“And who shall stand when he appeareth?”

I have been unable to lay its song

And symphony

Of chords and carols, it follows me around

As Shostakovich was said to hear his native sounds

And it has given a sympathy to me

Has been a colleague in the noon of day

A comfort and rejoinder to this clod of clay

There is that magic in the music, pat, inscrutable,

A seeming-large variety which forms itself into

Fit shape

And shapes up words emerging and diverging

Into a lovely passion

Placed on a page, set down for others to fashion

By concert and conducting so to make accord

In hearts and ears

So much so that even saddest arias in measure

Give joy, commiseration, all of heaven

One hopes to hold and pin one’s self onto

And seeks to reach unto

In a life’s refracted parts of threads and pieces

Handel himself stands back and allows his music grow

Out of an orchestra and chorus, naturalised,

In a kindred awe of rejoicing, which, not realising

How much engaged, engaged too much to enquire,

Of a bar of quivering quavers blithely resonant

Between filled ears regardless whether what estate

A listener prefers

So hear: “And who shall stand when he appeareth?”

Indeed itself is musical refiner’s fire

A bauble among baubles settled on a mighty pyre

Of luscious smokes sent up in notes to God

And He will shake all nations too, I hope,

Into a sweet simplicity as like our Lord’s

Straightforward glad in sacrificial gift of everything

To be transformed forthwith, returned as All-in-All