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a web of many textures

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Page 147


[The following lines are supposed to embody the feelings of one who stands amid the
wreck of her ruined fortunes, and finds in the memories of the past a solace for the present.
It is not altogether a fancy sketch.]

When the evening falls around me,
And my room is hushed and calm,
Come to me long-vanished pleasures, —
Come the wormwood and the balm;
Loving faces smile upon me,
Faces long beneath the mould,
Loving lips mine own are pressing,
Lips that long ago grew cold.
O, the voices! how they whisper!
And I strain my eager ear,
Not to lose a word whose meaning
All my spirit thrills to hear;
And amid the tones they utter,
Weaving through them like a thread,
Comes a strain of distant music,
Echo of a strain long fled.
From amid the brooding shadows,
And the shapes that come and go,
Hark! the old piano murmurs
With a note I dearly know;
And my soul in transport listens
To the keys' familiar tone,
As the shadowy fingers touch them
With a love they erst have known.
Joyful notes of sweetest meaning
Tinkle in my wakeful brain,
As upon the parching foliage
Sounds the grateful summer rain;
Mournful notes of import tender
Sighingly my heart receives,
As amid the evening breezes
Sighs the cadence of the leaves.
'T was a phantom, — an illusion, —
And the voices all have flown,
Leaving me here desolated,
In my widowhood alone;


Page 148
But the old piano lingers,
And about its dreamy strings
Rests the memory of fingers,
And their pleasant utterings.
Now it takes angelic seeming,
Calling me, with hopeful voice,
From the land where peace and gladness
Through eternal hours rejoice;
And I feel the hand extended
Of the loved ones gone before,
Grasping mine amid the darkness,
With the fervency of yore.
How I love it! — like a sister,
Ever faithful by my side,
Patient in my fallen fortunes,
Loving in my hours of pride;
It is not to me insensate,
And I 'm sure it feels with me,
Sorrowing in my saddened moments,
Laughing in my hours of glee.
Blessings on thee, old piano!
While I live we ne'er shall part,
For thy melody is woven
With the pulses of my heart.
Years may dim my mortal vision,
And my raven hair turn gray,
But my wasted life is blended
With the thoughts that round thee stay.