Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Nov. 5, 1850 - Oct. 30, 1919


The Master Hand

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

It is something too strange to understand,
How all the chords on the instrument,
Whether sorrowful, blithe, or grand,
Under the touch of your master hand
Were in one melody blent.
Major, minor, everything -- all --
Came at your magic fingers' call.

Why! famed musicians had turned in despair
Again and again from those self-same keys;
They mayhap brought forth a simple air,
But a discord always crept in somewhere,
In their fondest efforts to please.
Or a jarring, jangling, meaningless strain
Angered the silence to noisy pain.

Out of tune, they would frown and say;
Or a loosened key or a broken string;
But sure and certain they were alway,
That no man living on earth could play
Measures more perfect, or bring
Sweeter sounds or a truer air
Out of that curious instrument there.

And then you came. You swept the scale
With a mighty master's wonderful art.
You made the minor keys sob and wail,
While the low notes rang like a bell in a gale.
And every chord in my heart,
From the deep bass tones to the shrill ones above,
Joined into that glorious harmony -- Love.

And now, though I live for a thousand years,
On no new chord can a new hand fall.
The chords of sorrow, of pain, of tears,
The chords of raptures and hopes and fears,
I say you have struck them all;
And all the meaning put into each strain
By the Great Composer, you have made plain.


Poems of Pleasure
Copyright 1900
Gay And Bird, 22 Bedford Street, Strand, London
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