That purest heaven, be to other souls
The cup of strength in some great agony,
Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love,
Beget the smiles that have no cruelty,
Be the sweet presence of a good diffus'd,
And in diffusion ever more intense!
So shall I join the choir invisible
Whose music is the gladness of the world.”—English novelist, poet, journalist and translator Mary Ann Evans, a.k.a. George Eliot (1819-1880), “O May I Join the Choir Invisible!” from O May I Join the Choir Invisible and Other Favorite Poems (1884)
I came across this poem through the “Scherzo” episode in Endeavour, the PBS mystery series filled with such literary allusions.
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