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A short time before the death of Mozart, a stranger of remarkable appearance, and dressed in deep mourning, called at his house, and requested him to prepare a requiem, in his best style, for the funeral of a distinguished person. The sensitive imagination of the composer immediately seized upon the circumstance as an omen of his own fate; and the nervous anxiety with which he laboured to fulfil the task, had the effect of realizing his impression. He died within a few days after completing this magnificent piece of music, which was performed at his interment.
These birds of Paradise but long to flee
Prophecy of Dante.
Â REQUIEM !——and for whom?
For beauty in its bloom?
For valour fall'n--a broken rose or sword?
A dirge for king or chief,
With pomp of stately grief,
Banner, and torch, and waving plume deplor'd?
Not So, it is not so!
The warning voice I know,
From other worlds a strange mysterious tone;
A solemn funeral air
It call'd me to prepare,
And my heart answer'd secretly--my own!
One more then, one more strain,
Mighty the troubled spirit to inthral!
And let me breathe my dower
Full into that deep lay--the last of all!
The last!--and I must go
From this bright world below,
This realm of sunshine, ringing with sweet sound!
Must leave its festal skies,
With all their melodies,
That ever in my breast glad echoes found!
Yet have I known it long :
Too restless and too strong
Within this clay hath been th' o'ermastering flame; Swift thoughts, that came and went,
Like torrents o'er me sent,
Have shaken, as a reed, my thrilling frame.
Like perfumes on the wind,
Which none may stay or bind,
The beautiful comes floating thro' my soul;
I strive with yearnings vain,
The spirit to detain.
Of the deep harmonies that past me roll!
Therefore disturbing dreams
Trouble the secret streams
And founts of music that o'erflow my breast;
Something far more divine
may on earth be mine,
Haunts my worn heart, and will not let me rest.
Shall I then fear the tone
That breathes from worlds unknown?-
Surely these feverish aspirations there
Shall grasp their full desire,
Burn calmly, brightly, in immortal air.