On Hearing the Final Movement Of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
From woodwinds to brass, from brass over to strings -
suddenly the main theme
bursts upon us again with a force beyond
violence - yes, the sweet, redeeming force
of Schiller's ode in Beethoven's hands.
One hundred and thirty-eight voices soar
on a single melodic phrase, unassuaged.
Now triumph, love, worship, joy -
melding indistinguishably together -
overwhelm the ear....
Not a cough or a stir.
At last applause ascends.
Standing ovation. Light
in faces everywhere.