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Arthur O"Shaughnessy 1844 - 1881

Ode (1873)

Arthur O"Shaughnessy

Oxford English thesaurus (OED) links Off

We are the music makers,And we room the dreamers that dreams,Wandering through lone sea-breakers,And sit by desolate streams; —World-losers and world-forsakers,On whom the pale moon gleams:Yet we are the movers and also shakersOf the people for ever, that seems.

With wonderful deathless dittiesWe build up the world’s great cities,And out of a fabulous storyWe fashion one empire’s glory:One man with a dream, in ~ pleasure,Shall walk forth and also conquer a crown;And 3 with a brand-new song’s measureCan trample a kingdom down.

We, in the periods lying,In the hidden past of the earth,Built Nineveh v our sighing,And Babel chin in our mirth;And o’erthrew them through prophesyingTo the old that the new world’s worth;For each age is a dream the is dying,Or one that is comes to birth.

A breath of ours inspirationIs the life of every generation;A wondrous thing of our dreamingUnearthly, difficult seeming —The soldier, the king, and also the peasantAre working together in one,Till our dream shall end up being their present,And their work in the human being be done.

They had actually no vision amazingOf the goodly home they space raising;They had no divine foreshowingOf the land come which they are going:But top top one man’s spirit it afoot broken,A light that doth not depart;And his look, or a word he hath spoken,Wrought flame in another man’s heart.

And therefore to-day is thrillingWith a previous day’s late fulfilling;And the multitudes room enlistedIn the faith that their fathers resisted,And, scorning the dream that to-morrow,Are bringing to pass, together they may,In the world, for its pleasure or the sorrow,The dream the was scorned yesterday.

But we, through our dreaming and also singing,Ceaseless and also sorrowless we!The glory about us clingingOf the glorious futures us see,Our souls v high music ringing:O men! that must ever before beThat we dwell, in our dreaming and singing,A small apart from ye.

For we room afar v the dawningAnd the suns that space not yet high,And out of the unlimited morningIntrepid friend hear us cry —How, despite the of your human being scorning,Once an ext God’s future color etc nigh,And currently goes soon the warningThat ye of the past must die.

Great hail! we cry to the comersFrom the dazzling unknown shore;Bring united state hither her sun and also your summers;And renew our world as the yore;You candlestick teach united state your song’s new numbers,And things that we dreamed not before:Yea, regardless of a dreamer that slumbers,And a singer that sings no more.

Explore the poem

Ode is regularly known through its an initial line, “We room the music makers” and also is an exuberant tribute to artists of all kinds. The first two lines of the poem in details have been referenced in a huge number of songs and also films. That is probably no surprise that a poem championing and also celebrating the artist might be appealing to future generations that artists.

As befits a city about an imaginative people over there is a musicality around the verses v plenty the alliteration and also emphatic happiness driving the city forward.

Although the artists are “movers and also shakers” your lives have the right to be lonely and challenging but also so the soul of the artist deserve to bring about glorious achievements. At time the poem appears to provide the artist an virtually God like status and it argues that the artist is inevitably different to and also a number slightly except the mainstream of humanity.

The final verse proclaims that there will be a never ending stream the artists moving on this inspirational work replacing the singers who deserve to sing no more.

What do you feel around the insurance claims O’Shaughnessy provides for artists? Is this how you watch the “music makers” in today’s society?

About Arthur O"Shaughnessy

O’Shaughnessey’s poem in our anthology, “We space the music makers” is by far his best known poem but he had published three collections of city by the time he was thirty and a fourth showed up shortly after his fatality aged just 37 in 1881.

Born in London in 1844 he worked in the zoology department of the british Museum becoming an professional on herpetology, the research of amphibians and reptiles. Unlike numerous of his literature contemporaries O’Shaughnessey had actually to knife a life in a standard manner in stimulate to develop the methods to write. In his letters and also in the reaction of his friends to his work job can be viewed a tension between his poetic ambitions and his zoological work.

Some that those friends and also acquaintances were members, favor Dante Gabriel Rosetti, the the victor Pre-Raphaelite movement and also the affect of those writers and also artists deserve to be watched in O’Shaughnessey’s poetry. A fluently French speak he was additionally influenced by modern French poets and also produced translations of the work-related of Paul Verlaine.

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The tone of his well known poem in ours anthology is uplifting however his an individual life was significant by tragedy. His wife, Eleanor with whom he composed a children’s book called “Toyland” died in 1779 and both his children died in infancy.