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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

A Strain of Music

In through the open window
   To the chamber where I lay,
There came the beat of merry feet,
   From the dancers over the way.
And back on the wings of the music
   That rose on the midnight air,
My rare youth came and spoke my name,
   And lo! I was young and fair.

Once more in the glitter of gaslight
   I stood in my lifes glad prime:
And heart and feet in a rhythm sweet
   Were keeping the musics time.
Like a leaf in the breeze of summer
   I drifted down the hall,
On an arm that is cold with death and mould,
   And is hidden under the pall.

Once more at a low voices whisper
   (A voice that is long since stilled)
I felt the flush of a rising blush,
   And my pulses leaped and thrilled.
Once more in a sea of faces,
   I only saw one face;
And life grew bright with a new delight,
   And sweet with a nameless grace.

A crash of passionate music,
   A hush and a silence then;
The dancers rest in their pleasure quest,
   And lo! I am old again.
Old and alone in my chamber,
   While the night wears wearily on,
And the pallid wraith of a broken faith--
   Keeps watch with me till the dawn.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. The Birth of the Opal
  2. The Awakening (I love the tropics, where sun and rain)
  3. The Chain
  4. At Forty-Eight
  5. Intermediary

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