Frank Dempster Sherman



by Frank Dempster Sherman

From Paradise what soul with wings
In yonder green spray hides and sings,
Weaving within the fragrant gloom
Song-fabrics on the morning's loom?

'T is Israfel returned to us,
Making the world melodious:
He, he it is who sows the air
With seeds of music everywhere,
Until the charmed space around
Grows sweet with blossomings of sound.

In ecstasy the fields lie mute,
Spelled by the magic of his lute;
The trees are hushed the while to hear
The cadence falling liquid-clear;
The winds hold in their breath, lest they
Cheat of one dulcet note the day;
And through the meadow, lisping low,
The naiads silver-sandaled go,
Or drowsy grown beside the streams,
Lie drinking music's wine of dreams;

And I, enraptured, in the dell
Pause, listening to Israfel:
Oblivious of all beside,
Dreaming, I drift upon the tide
Of melody until my eyes
Picture him there in Paradise, --
When lo, there comes a sudden hush;
'T is earth, -- and yonder soars a thrush!


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