The harp that once through Tara's halls The soul of music shed, Now hangs as mute on Tara's walls As if that soul were fled. So sleeps the pride of former days, So glory's thrill is o'er; And hearts that once beat high for praise Now feel that pulse no more.
Reber [Johnson; a violinist] also got off another one, after I'd played over the Second Violin Sonata for him-that harmless piece. "After stuff like that"-he said-"if you consider that music, and like it, how can you like Brahms or any good music?" That is a very common attitude among almost all the well known lilies. They take it [i.e., that attitude] for granted-a kind of self-evident axiom, a settled-for-life matter, ipso facto, admitting of no argument. The classical is good for all time, the modern is bad for all time-so if you like one, you can't like the other. Describing the reaction of a typical professional musician to his, and other twentieth-century, compositions. "Lilies" was one of Ives' names for most of the concert goers of his era, who expected all music to be conventional and pretty.
If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would have thus been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.