Mary Ashley Townsend Poems >>
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 sing upon its knees,
A slave her touch could quicken or benumb.