You can read this poem here.
Music and memory. The mood of helpless longing in this poem is quite different from the fond remembering at the theatre organ gig, but both bear witness to the ‘insidious mastery’ of music, which can so often be the madeleine connecting us, involuntarily, with something of our own past.
Sometimes, as for Lawrence here, it’s painful precisely because the memories are sweet; at other times it can be warmer, calmer. But whatever the mood, there is something of the everyday extraordinary about how music can thus transport us. We are subject to the music, which may be part of what Lawrence means when he says his ‘manhood is cast/ down’. We are powerless against it, ambushed by our own memories which have so unexpectedly been evoked.
It seems unlikely that Lawrence is referring to the “unmanliness” of tears; after all, he’s a man who experiences chucking a stick at a snake as ‘something to expiate’. But there is also, I think, something about the loss of his “adult” sense of identity and stability in the grief and longing for his childhood self and experience. ‘Glamour’ is such a great word here. Yes, it suggests how attractive and appealing is this state of cosy, loving safety which he remembers; but there is also the archaic sense of glamour as “enchantment”. The magic of the music conjures the magic of the past.