Frank Dempster Sherman



by Frank Dempster Sherman

Long time she sat, yet never touched a string, --
Her thoughts were all of one far, far away,
One dearly loved, whose face to her could bring
Desire to play.

The tune -- ah, well she knew it! -- and the words
So full of tenderness, unsung so long,
Hung on her parted lips -- a flock of birds
Without a song.

Anon, the music to her finger-tips
In swift pulsations from her glad heart went,
Then quavered to the song upon her lips
The instrument.

For suddenly across the strings she swept
Her slender hand, and lo, there came at last
The melody which had in silence slept
The whole year past.

Faintly at first, with every touch it grew
More sweet, and filled the charmed air around,
And sang within her ears until she knew
'T was joy she found.

And there, alone, she held the graceful form
And sang to it as 't were a babe at rest,
Singing itself to sleep and growing warm
Against her breast.

So, happy in the melody she wrought
Upon the old guitar in her embrace,
Her eyes grew heavy, closed, and slumber brought
Dreams of his face.


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