Beethoven in Central Park

Alfred Noyes

(After a glimpse of a certain monument in New York, during the
Victory Celebration)

The thousand-windowed towers were all alight.
  Throngs of all nations filled that glittering way;
And, rich with dreams of the approaching day,
Flags of all nations trampled down the night.
No clouds, at sunset, die in airs as bright.
  No clouds, at dawn, awake in winds as gay;
  For Freedom rose in that august array,
Crowned with the stars and weaponed for the right.

Then, in a place of whispering leaves and gloom,
  I saw, too dark, too dumb for bronze or stone,
  One tragic head that bowed against the sky;
O, in a hush too deep for any tomb
  I saw Beethoven, dreadfully alone
    With his own grief, and his own majesty.

This poem was written when Alfred Noyes was visiting New York during the celebrations of the victory over Germany in the First World War in 1918.

The bust of Beethoven in Central Park stands on the site of the original bandstand.

Main Location:

Beethoven Statue, Central Park, New York, NY, USA

Postcard of the Beethoven statue in Central Park, New York