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Alfred Noyes

From The Barrel-Organ

There's a barrel-organ carolling across a golden street

In the City as the sun sinks low;

And the music's not immortal; but the world has made it sweet

And fulfilled it with the sunset glow;

And it pulses through the pleasures of the City and the pain

That surround the singing organ like a large eternal light;

And they've given it a glory and a part to play again

In the Symphony that rules the day and night.

And now it's marching onward through the realms of old romance,

And trolling out a fond familiar tune,

And now it's roaring cannon down to fight the King of France,

And now it's prattling softly to the moon,

And all around the organ there's a sea without a shore

Of human joys and wonders and regrets;

To remember and to recompense the music evermore

For what the cold machinery forgets . . . .

Yes; as the music changes,

Like a prismatic glass,

It takes the light and ranges

Through all the moods that pass;

Dissects the common carnival

Of passions and regrets,

And gives the world a glimpse of all

The colours it forgets.