Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WHEN KREISLER PLAYS, by FRANCES BARTLETT

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WHEN KREISLER PLAYS, by            
First Line: When kreisler plays, I hear a heart's mute cry
Last Line: When kreisler plays!
Subject(s): Kreisler, Fritz (1875-1962)


When Kreisler plays, I hear a heart's mute cry
For understanding; and none draweth nigh.
The prayer of those who only ask for bread,
Yet for whose comfort stones are given instead;
The longings that e'en wingèd words defy;
The sobs so often under laughter lie;
Hopes sunrise born, that ere the sunset die —
Waken and stir and come forth from the dead,
When Kreisler plays.
And with the dreams but eyes of youth espy;
The ideals that we banished years gone by;
That which was thought, but never has been said;
That which was writ, but never has been read —
Fling wide their wings and reach Faith's silver sky,
When Kreisler plays!


When Kreisler plays, with singing heart I go
Into that land where falls nor hail nor snow;
Where every one is happy — and no pain
Tears hearts that cry for ease, yet cry in vain.
But sweet as lilied Arno's drowsy flow,
The lilt of April poplar leaves a-blow;
And lovely with that light but dream may know,
Its greening fields of wind-kissed April grain,
When Kreisler plays.
Above me hemlock boughs are whispering low
The lore Pan taught them centuries ago;
And apple orchards blanch to flower again,
Their petals jewelled with spent April rain;
Yea, Spring herself comes dancing down his bow,
When Kreisler plays!


When Kreisler plays, Creation's awesome hymn
Sweeps o'er my heart-strings, and my eyes grow dim.
And as when one before Love's inmost shrine,
Breathing the fragrance of the blood-red wine
That fills her cup of sacring to its brim,
Looks up between the flame-winged cherubim,
Beholds — and pales — and in the interim
Hears Love call, so I hear her voice divine,
When Kreisler plays.
And, sweeter than the chant of seraphim,
Or song of stars that through the dawning swim,
Quivers the answer of this soul of mine,
As kneeling by the San Grael, eyes ashine,
I lay my lips against its golden rim,
When Kreisler plays!

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