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THE DEAD TENOR.

As down the stage again,
With Spanish hat and plumes, and gait inimitable,
Back from the fading lessons of the past, I'd call, I'd tell and
own,
How much from thee! the revelation of the singing voice from
thee!
(So firm—so liquid-soft—again that tremulous, manly timbre!
The perfect singing voice—deepest of all to me the lesson—trial
and test of all:)
How through those strains distill'd—how the rapt ears, the soul
of me, absorbing
Fernando's heart, Manrico's passionate call, Ernani's, sweet
Gennaro's,
I fold thenceforth, or seek to fold, within my chants transmuting,
Freedom's and Love's and Faith's unloos'd cantabile,
(As perfume's, color's, sunlight's correlation:)
From these, for these, with these, a hurried line, dead tenor,
A wafted autumn leaf, dropt in the closing grave, the shovel'd
earth,
To memory of thee.

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