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Poem by Mathilde Blind


On a Viola D'Amore


CARVED WITH A CUPID'S HEAD, 
AND PLAYED ON FOR THE FIRST TIME 
AFTER MORE THAN A CENTURY.

What fairy music clear and light,
    Responsive to your fingers,
Swells rippling on the summer night,
    And amorously lingers
Upon the sense, as long ago
In days of rouge and rococo!

A century of silence lay
    On strings that had not spoken
Since powdered lords to ladies gay
    Gave, for a lover's token,
Fans glowing fresh from Watteau's art,
Well worth a marchioness's heart.

Your dormant music, tranced and bound,
    Was like the Sleeping Beauty
Prince Charming in the forest found,
    And kissed in loyal duty:
And when she woke her eyes' blue fire
Turned the dumb forest to a lyre.

Thus Amor with the bandaged eyes,
    Fit symbol of hushed numbers,
Most musically wakes and sighs
    After an age of slumbers:
Beneath your magic bow's control
The Viol has regained her soul.



Mathilde Blind


Mathilde Blind's other poems:
  1. Mourning Women
  2. The Hunter's Moon
  3. The Desert
  4. Perfect Union
  5. On a Forsaken Lark's Nest

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