Frank Dempster Sherman


Breath Of Song

by Frank Dempster Sherman

From the minster's organ-loft,
Floating down the shadowed nave,
Comes a strain of music soft,
Falling as a weary wave
Falls upon the beach of sand,
Murmurous and sweet and bland,
Bearing from the mighty sea
Messages of melody.

There, alone, the organist
Lets his listless fingers go --
Lost in a melodious mist --
O'er the key-board, to and fro:
There, half-dreaming, in the gloom,
Sits the weaver at his loom,
Weaving with the threads of sound
Music-woof the warp around.

All unconsciously he hides
Strains familiar in his theme,
When a master-spirit glides
Through the doorway of his dream;
Mozart, Handel, Chopin, or
Harmony's great conjuror --
Rapt Beethoven! -- each is part
Of the dreaming player's heart.

So the Poet dreams, nor heeds
Who may listen, who may hear;
Following where Fancy leads,
She alone to him is dear:
Omar, Keats, Theocritus,
In his voice may speak to us
From the realm of ages dim --
These are in the heart of him!

Poets in the fields of Time,
Since the world began, have sown
Wide the precious seeds of rhyme,
And to us to-day are blown
Odors from these poem-flowers --
Seedlings of the later hours --
Blossoming the fields along,
Breathing the sweet breath of song.


Lyrics For A Lute
Copyright 1890
Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin, and Company
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