Wednesday, July 27, 2016

ISRAFEL, a poem

Autograph verse, signed copy (in part) ca. 1909.

A DREAMER midst the stars doth dwell,
Known to the gods as Israfel.
        His heart-strings are a lute;
And when, the magic notes outpouring,
He parts his lips, the gods, adoring,
        Listen in transport mute,
Subdued and softened by the spell
Of the dreamer, Israfel!

And mortals, as they toil apart,
Listen with awe, and call him—Art,
        And fain his gift to gain,
Essay to imitate the fashion
Of his rare song, and breathe its passion,—
        But, ah, they strive in vain;
For his song is more than art,
Whose lute-strings are his heart!

And others, unto whom he wings
The sweetest melodies he sings,
        In worship, name him—Love;
Yet longing the pure strain to capture,
When at the very height of rapture,
        A sadness oft approve,
And fancy, strangely, that he wrings
The music from their own heart-strings!
"Israfel" by Florence Earle Coates. Above as published in Poems (1916) Volume I. Also published as "Israphel" in The Cosmopolitan (September 1894) and Poems (1898).

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