I heard the harpist strum his instrument
Like a newlywed his wife;
I waited for the closing lids of dusk over that thin land,
And I heard his callous tenor at the dancing dust—
I watched his songs pull down with joy
And I waited the sky to break free;
I toiled in the shadow to breach heaven with song
And I shook at the wind to fly!
But the rock faces billowed with fright at the moon
And the dunes quivered at stars;
The lyre, once soaring and light, caved to din
And the harp turned sweet into sour.
The wretch of the mourning that cool summer’s night
That once had been woken in praise and a song
Rent my heart from my soul like a bird from its nest
And homeless, my thoughts took to flight—
I listened for songs buoyed with joy
And I begged for the loosing of baby blue sky;
But I wrested from darkness a dim-whistled tune
And laid head in the dust to rest ’til the end
Or the morning should fly.