Monday, February 6, 2017

THE VIOLIN, a poem

HE gave me all, and then he laid me by.
     Straining my strings to breaking with his pain,
He voiced an anguish, through my wailing cry,
     Never to speak again.

He pressed his cheek against me, and he wept—
     Had we been glad together over much?—
Emotions that within me deep had slept
     Grew vibrant at his touch,

And I who could not ask whence sprung his sorrow,
     Responsive to a grief I might not know,
Sobbed as the infant that each mood doth borrow
     Sobs for the mother's woe.

Wild grew my voice and stormy with his passion,
     Lifted at last unto a tragic might;
Then swift it changed in sad and subtile fashion
     To pathos infinite,

Swooning away beneath his faltering fingers
     Till the grieved plaint seemed, echoless, to die;
When, calm, he rose, and with a touch that lingers,
     Laid me forever by.

Forever! Ah, he comes no more—my lover!
     And all my spirit wrapped in trance-like sleep,
Darkling I dream that such a night doth cover
     His grief with hush as deep.
"The Violin" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Lyrics of Life (1909), Poems (1916) Volume I and Scribner's Magazine (February 1921).

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