Archive for July 23rd, 2012

Monday, 23 July 2012

A Stradivarius Violin by May Riley Smith

The music of this ancient violin
   Is haunted as men’s chambers sometimes are.
Along the liquid ladder of each bar
   Phantoms of pleasure dance; Regret steals in,
   With happier ghosts, and Fate her wheel doth spin.
Torn butterflies of hope a breath did mar
Here flutter, like the flame within a star.
   And if thou wouldst, O soul, nepenthe win,
   Pause not beside this portal, lest thou hear
   The voice of thy dead sorrow whispering near!
For every passion that thy life hath known, ―
Anguish benumbed, and love thou thought’st flown, ―
   Among these peerless octaves veilèd, wait
   To speak to thee across the stringed gate.

From: Smith, May Riley, Sometime and Other Poems, 1897, E P Dutton and Company: New York, pp. 74-75.

Date: 1897

By: May Riley Smith (1842-1927)