Mary Ashley Townsend Poems >>
Sonnets

THE DEAD SINGER

A POET'S soul has sung its way to God;
Has loosed its luminous wings from earthly thongs,
And soared to join the imperishable throngs
Whose feet the immaculate valleys long have trod.
For him, the recompense; for us, the rod;    
And we to whom regretfulness belongs
Crown our dead singer with his own sweet songs,
And roof his grave with love's remembering sod.
But yesterday, a beacon on the height;
To-day, a splendor that has passed us by,-     
So, one by one into the morning light,
Whilst yet late watchers gaze upon the sky
And wonder what the heavens prophesy,
The shining stars pass silently from sight!

VIRTUOSA

AS by the instrument she took her place,     
The expectant people, breathing sigh nor word,
Sat hushed, while o'er the waiting ivory stirred
Her supple hands with their suggestive grace.
With sweet notes they began to interlace,
And then with lofty strains their skill to gird,     
Then loftier still, till all the echoes heard
Entrancing harmonies float into space.
She paused, and gaily trifled with the keys
Until they laughed in wild delirium,
Then, with rebuking fingers, from their glees     
She led them one by one till all grew dumb,
And music seemed to sink upon its knees,
A slave her touch could quicken or benumb.

AT SET OF SUN

A SCENT of guava-blossoms and the smell
Of bruis