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The Two Harps
JK (1784-1856 / Jamaica)

The Two Harps

I tarried on the strains to hang
Outfloating from yon ancient trees;
Strains from two airy harps, that rang
Responsive to the minstrel breeze.
One, chaunting to the wind that wooed,
Swang full on every gazer's eye;
The other, far within the wood,
Low breathed its hermit melody.
This told a tale of nought but gladness;
Of frolic nymphs on tiptoe stealing;
And feats of wine and festive madness;
Gay Fauns that danced and Satyrs reeling.
The other sighed so sad a tone,
Methought some desolate child of air
Had made those very strings his own
To vent heart-broken anguish there.

Each harp was sweet; yet while—not vain—
Thrilled thro' the sense the livelier din,
That other sweetest—saddest strain—
My inmost spirit drank it in.
Then deem not, deem not—Emmeline!
That Abra's frolic glance of glee
From thee my steadfast faith can win,
From thee, my gentlest love! from thee.
E'en now when 'mid yon blazing room
A dream of joy—she floats inspired,
I come to court the tender gloom,
Where thou dost love to sit retired;
And while she bids the rest rejoice
With winning word—with winning wile—
I turn to catch thy plaintive voice—
I flee—to win thy thoughtful smile.
Let frolic from her dark eyes peep;
Mine be the blue which tear-drops fill;
For if her charm of joy strike deep,
Thy pensive spells sink deeper still.

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