devotees of those two sublime arts, after having followed them so long and so humbly, and through so much bitterness.
Thus he entered upon the third and final period of his life, one of feverish activity.
During the winter succeeding his great resolution he grew rapidly in the intellectual grasp of music.
He had the soul of an artist, and gradually acquired the technical skill to bring the most out of his instrument.
Still the strength of his renderings always resided in the emotion he imparted.
His conductor testifies:
His conception of music was not reached by any analytical study of note by note, was intuitive, spontaneous; like a woman's reason: he felt it so, because he felt it so, and his delicate perception required no more logical form of reasoning.
His playing appealed to the musically learned and unlearned—for he would mesmerize the listener; but the artist felt in his performance the superiority of the momentary living inspiration to all the rules and shifts of mere technical scholarship.
The next year he still yearned for a musical career.
He told Dr. Leopold Damrosch
, then conductor of the Philharmonic Society of New York, that music ‘is not a matter of mere preference, it is a spiritual necessity.
I must be a musician, I cannot help it.’
But the conference with Damrosch
with the great handicap he suffered in lack of thorough technical training.
Though he continued to gain intense joy from music, literature more and more occupied his thoughts and monopolized his time.
In February, 1875, Corn
, which he had conceived the preceding summer and had rewritten during the winter, appeared in Lippincott's magazine
It was one of the earliest Southern poems to receive publication in a Northern periodical.
Notable, too, is the fact that the verses are not an effort to escape into some dreamland but the presentation of a widespread problem of Georgia
attracted favourable attention, notably from Gibson Peacock
, editor of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin
Within a month Lanier
was at work on a second ambitious poem, The Symphony
, which appeared in June, and which brought him the friendship of Bayard Taylor
The firm of Lippincott