Fifty-one Tales, by Lord Dunsany, , at sacred-texts.com
THE RETURN OF SONG
"The swans are singing again," said to one another the gods. And looking downwards, for my dreams had taken me to some fair and far Valhalla, I saw below me an iridescent bubble not greatly larger than a star shine beautifully but faintly, and up and up from it looking larger and larger came a flock of white, innumerable swans, singing and singing and singing, till it seemed as though even the gods were wild ships swimming in music.
"What is it?" I said to one that was humble among the gods.
"Only a world has ended," he said to me, "and the swans are coming back to the gods returning the gift of song."
"A whole world dead!" I said.
"Dead," said he that was humble among the gods. "The worlds are not for ever; only song is immortal."
"Look! Look!" he said. "There will be a new one soon."
And I looked and saw the larks, going down from the gods.