A Song. Written in an Album.

A poem by Abram Joseph Ryan

Pure faced page! waiting so long
To welcome my muse and me;
Fold to thy breast, like a mother, the song
That floats from my spirit to thee.

And song! sound soft as the streamlet sings,
And sweet as the Summer's birds,
And pure and bright and white be the wings
That will waft thee into words.

Yea! fly as the sea-birds fly over the sea
To rest on the far-off beach,
And breathe forth the message I trust to thee,
Tear toned on the shores of speech.

But ere you go, dip your snowy wing
In a wave of my spirit's deep --
In a wave that is purest -- then haste and bring
A song to the hearts that weep.

Oh! bring it, and sing it -- its notes are tears;
Its octaves, the octaves of grief;
Who knows but its tones in the far-off years
May bring to the lone heart relief?

Yea! bring it, and sing it -- a worded moan
That sweeps thro' the minors of woe,
With mystical meanings in every tone,
And sounds like the sea's lone flow.

* * * * *

And the thoughts take the wings of words, and float
Out of my spirit to thee;
But the song dies away into only one note,
And sounds but in only one key.

And the note! 'tis the wail of the weariest wave
That sobs on the loneliest shore;
And the key! never mind, it comes out of a grave;
And the chord! -- 'tis a sad "nevermore".

And just like the wavelet that moans on the beach,
And, sighing, sinks back to the sea,
So my song -- it just touches the rude shores of speech,
And its music melts back into me.

Yea, song! shrink back to my spirit's lone deep,
Let others hear only thy moan --
But I -- I forever shall hear the grand sweep
Of thy mighty and tear-burdened tone.

Sweep on, mighty song! -- sound down in my heart
As a storm sounding under a sea;
Not a sound of thy music shall pass into art,
Nor a note of it float out from me.

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