Unfortunately, the Irish Harp had only been appreciated for a short period of time. It was typically played for those of a higher class and for the elite who were granted special privileges. Harp playing would even be accompanied with poetry and other types of high-class singing. Harp playing had become very popular until the high-class, kings, and noblemen no longer desired to have them around, leading harpist to travel which also lead to the near extinction of harp playing. The harp had also been known as an instrument used to resist the crown and England, then leading the harp to be banned.
The poem that had stood out to me most as I was reading up on the history of the harp had been Dear Harp of My Country by Thomas Moore.
Dear Harp of my Country! farewell to thy numbers,
This sweet wreath song is the last we shall twine;
Go, sleep, with the sunshine of Fame on thy slumbers,
As I read this small portion of the poem, what had instantly come to mind had been how harp playing was coming to an end and dying out, how it had no longer been valued although it has a major symbol to it in Ireland.
I was but as the wind, passing heedlessly over,
And all the wild sweetness I wak’d was thy own.
As I continuously read through the poem, I read it in a soft, smooth, calming tempo. Which also reminds me of how a harp is played. The sounds of a harp are soft, calming, slow tempo. These lines of the poem and all throughout this poem also sound as if a person had been in a depressed state and that harp playing had brought them out of that. In the lines above where it states how the speaker is like the wind just passing buy until the had been awakened by the harp is a sign of happiness perhaps, but now that harp playing is dying out so is the speaker of the poem. The harp had been the getaway.
But, so oft hast thou echoed the deep sigh of sadness,
That ev’n in thy mirth it will steal from thee still.