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Is reft from Earth to tune those spheres
above, What art thou but a harbinger of woe?
Thy pleasing notes be pleasing notes no more,
Or if that any hand to touch thee deign, Like widow'd turtle, still her loss complain.
HARP OF THE NORTH
(From "The Lady of the Lake")
Harp of the North! that mouldering long hast
hung On the witch-elm that shades St. Fillan's
spring, And down the fitful breeze thy numbers flung,
Till envious ivy did around thee cling, Muffling with verdant ringlet every string, – O Minstrel Harp, still must thine accents
Mid rustling leaves and fountains murmuring, Still must thy sweeter sounds their silence
keep, , Nor bid a warrior smile, nor teach a maid to
Not thus, in ancient days of Caledon,
Was thy voice mute amid the festal crowd, When lay of hopeless love, or glory won,
Aroused the fearful or subdued the proud. At each according pause was heard aloud
Thine ardent symphony sublime and high! Fair dames and crested chiefs attention bowed;
For still the burden of thy minstrelsy Was Knighthood's dauntless deed,
deed, and Beauty's matchless eye.
O, wake once more! how rude soe'er the
hand That ventures o'er thy magic maze to stray; O, wake once more! though scarce my skill
command Some feeble echoing of thine earlier lay: Though harsh and faint, and soon to die away,
And all unworthy of thy nobler strain, Yet if one heart throb higher at its sway,
The wizard note has not been touched in
vain. Then silent be no more! Enchantress, wake again!
Sir Walter Scott.
“HUSHED IS THE LYRE - THE
HAND THAT SWEPT"
Hushed is the lyre — the hand that swept
The low and pensive wires,
Yes - it is still the lyre is still;
The spirit which its slumbers broke
Henry Kirke White.
A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT
What was he doing, the great god Pan,
Down in the reeds by the river ?
Spreading ruin and scattering ban,
With the dragon-fly on the river ?
He tore out a reed, the great god Pan,
From the deep cool bed of the river:
Ere he brought it out of the river.
High on the shore sat the great god Pan,
While turbidly flowed the river, And hacked and hewed as a great god can With his hard bleak steel at the patient reed, Till there was not a sign of the leaf indeed
To prove it fresh from the river.
He cut it short, did the great god Pan,
(How tall it stood in the river!) Then drew the pith, like the heart of a man, Steadily from the outside ring, And notched the poor dry empty thing
In holes, as he sat by the river.
“This is the way,” laughed the great god Pan,
(Laughed while he sat by the river!) “ The only way, since gods began To make sweet music, they could succeed," Then dropping his mouth to a hole in the
reed, He blew in power by the river.
Sweet, sweet, sweet, O Pan,
Piercing sweet by the river !
Came back to dream on the river.
Yet half a beast is the great god Pan
To laugh, as he sits by the river, Making a poet out of a man. The true gods sigh for the cost and pain For the reed which grows nevermore again As a reed with the reeds in the river.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
TO A FLUTE - PLAYER
Down through the shadow-years has come a
word Or two of Lamia, who, with her flute,