The second poem of Donald Mace Williams’ melodic-ekphrasis The Reconstructions tetraptych on/in music by different composers, published in The Decadent Review (a Beethoven, this Vaughan Williams, this Ravel, and a Brahms).
It moves through columned mysteries,
This holy essence, veiled by scrims
Of mist in bronze interstices
Where sunrise strikes the high, arched beams.
We cannot tell whether with voice
Or impulse only this procession
Swells the dim air: it is a place
Where voice and thought make no distinction.
Nor is it certain whether woods
Of ivied oak or some great church
Is host to what comes by–this flood
Of awe, this ghostly, primal march.
It passes; then, amassed once more,
Rises, surrounds us with ourselves
Before it ends: all that we are,
Nothing we know. Our souls, our cells.