In sun and rain and leafy trees
It wafts the timid soul along
On crested waves of melodies.
Body: But leaves the body bare to feed
Its hunger with its very need.
Soul: Although the frenzied belly writhes,
Yet render up in song your tithes;
Song is the weakling's oaken rod,
His Jacob's ladder dropped from God.
Body: Song is not drink; song is not meat,
Nor strong, thick shoes for naked feet.
Soul: Who sings by unseen hands is fed
With honeyed milk and warm, white bread;
His ways in pastures green are led,
And perfumed oil illumes his head;
His cup with wine is surfeited,
And when the last low note is read,
He sings among the lipless dead
With singing stars to crown his head.
Body: But will song buy a wooden box
The length of me from toe to crown,
To keep me safe from carrion flocks
When singing's done and lyre laid down?