To The Beloved Dead--A Lament

A poem by Alice Christiana Thompson Meynell

Beloved, thou art like a tune that idle fingers
Play on a window-pane.
The time is there, the form of music lingers;
But O thou sweetest strain,
Where is thy soul? Thou liest i' the wind and rain.

Even as to him who plays that idle air,
It seems a melody,
For his own soul is full of it, so, my Fair,
Dead, thou dost live in me,
And all this lonely soul is full of thee.

Thou song of songs!--not music as before
Unto the outward ear;
My spirit sings thee inly evermore,
Thy falls with tear on tear.
I fail for thee, thou art too sweet, too dear.

Thou silent song, thou ever voiceless rhyme,
Is there no pulse to move thee,
At windy dawn, with a wild heart beating time,
And falling tears above thee,
O music stifled from the ears that love thee?

Oh, for a strain of thee from outer air!
Soul wearies soul, I find.
Of thee, thee, thee, I am mournfully aware,
--Contained in one poor mind,
Who wert in tune and time to every wind.

Poor grave, poor lost beloved! but I burn
For some more vast To be.
As he that played that secret tune may turn
And strike it on a lyre triumphantly,
I wait some future, all a lyre for thee.

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