The Deaf Musician
See a lark in the far summer sky,
My darling seated at her harp I see,
Playing the while our little children sing:
The world is full of music—not for me!
I dreamed last night of some dim abbey choir:
The lights were burning where the singers stood
Chanting my anthem. I crouched in the dark,
Weeping for joy to hear they called it good!
O music of my sleep, that mocks my soul
With cruel joys that are fulfilled no more
Than his who dreams of light and love at home,
And wakes to find himself on Arctic shore!
It haunts me always through my silent days,
With life before me like a closed gate.
If God had only bidden me to die;
Or anything but this hard work—to wait.
To wait and work, and know my work but as
Some poor fond mother from her infant reft,
Shuts the sweet memory safe from change and time,
And dreams to find her boy the babe she left!
And yet there is a thought will sometimes creep
It even mingled in my dream last night
I'd rather make my music in the dark,
Than only stand and sing it in the light!
Maybe the dream is nearer truth than sound,
And could I hear my tune, mine eyes might miss
Some of the sweetness soaring in my soul:
Better go wanting that, and having this!
And there are songs in heaven. God forgive
A poor deaf man for wondering what they are.
Perchance it is their echo that I catch,
And I shall hear those same songs sweeter far!