Songs and Sonnets by Erik Chisholm 1916

This astonishing collection of poems by a 12 year old Eric (he changed Eric to Erik in adult life) had lain in a Glasgow attic for decades until it was given to me in 2010 by my cousin John, son of Jack Chisholm, Erik’s eldest brother. I knew that my father had written librettos and occasional poems for his Celtic Song Book but this collection of 12 poems and 20 sonnets quite bowled me over. Definitely not for publication but Ode to Music is interesting, attesting as it does to his deep love of music at that early age.

Morag Chisholm

Ode To Music

Blend each note so clear and sweet,
Make thy tones be like silver bells,
Stir my blood with chords in numbers,
Each tender thrill the rest foretells,
As I lie back in spell-bound praise,
Dreaming of thee in my slumbers.
I feel the joy of life’s sweet ways,
It brings back to me sweet memories,
I feel I am in Paradise,
A golden well I plainly see,
Thy chords have got me mesmerised.
Each bow that quivers in a shake,
Thy music is a doctor’s cure,
Then one strong note makes me but wake,
Each long struck note so sweet and pure,
And loudly hear a trumpet call far off,
While the wondrous players play with all their heart.
Why music I love you, love you always,
You and I never never shall part.
I see the soldiers marching, tramp, tramp, tramp,
Marching quickly o’er hill and dale,
I hear the soldiers loudly singing,
“The conquered hero down in the vale.
Ah, music, an ode cannot sing thy splendour,
Thy enchantments have long been known,
As day after day has passed away,
Thy works are quickly, marvelously growing.
I dream of a land of roses, I dream of them I love,
Thy notes so clear and sweet make me think of those above.
And carols from thy lines slowly peal,
On Christmas day from morn till night,
Which fills my mind full of delight.
Music thy charms are sweet,
Make thy tones a fairy bell,
Stir my blood with long soft bows,
Each tender trill the rest foretells.

Eric Chisholm 1916