Written at Rydal Mount. I have often regretted that my tour in Ireland, chiefly performed in the short days of October in a Carriage-and-four (I was with Mr. Marshall), supplied my memory with so few images that were new, and with so little motive to write. The lines however in this poem, "Thou too be heard, lone eagle!" were suggested near the Giant's Causeway, or rather at the promontory of Fairhead, where a pair of eagles wheeled above our heads and darted off as if to hide themselves in a blaze of sky made by the setting sun.

ARGUMENT

The Ear addressed, as occupied by a spiritual functionary, in communion with sounds, individual, or combined in studied harmony--Sources and effects of those sounds (to the close of 6th Stanza)--The power of music, whence proceeding, exemplified in the idiot--Origin of music, and its effect in early ages--How produced (to the middle of 10th Stanza)--The mind recalled to sounds acting casually and severally--Wish uttered (11th Stanza) that these could be united into a scheme or system for moral interests and intellectual contemplation--(Stanza 12th) The Pythagorean theory of numbers and music, with their supposed power over the motions of the universe--Imaginations consonant with such a theory--Wish expressed (in 11th Stanza) realised, in some degree, by the representation of all sounds under the form of thanksgiving to the Creator--(Last Stanza) the destruction of earth and the planetary system--The survival of audible harmony, and its support in the Divine Nature, as revealed in Holy Writ.