Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE IMPROVISATORE: THE INDUCTION TO THE FIRST FYTTE, by THOMAS LOVELL BEDDOES



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THE IMPROVISATORE: THE INDUCTION TO THE FIRST FYTTE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Dank is the air and dusk the sky
Last Line: Amid the mazy paths of song.
Subject(s): Courts & Courtiers; Minstrels; Music & Musicians; Rites & Ceremonies; Singing & Singers; Royal Court Life; Royalty; Kings; Queens; Songs


She died
More innocent than sleep,
As clear as her own eyes, and blessedness
Eternal waits upon her where she is.
KING AND NO KING

THE INDUCTION TO THE FIRST FYTTE
DANK is the air and dusk the sky,
The snow is falling featherily,
And, as the light flakes kiss the ground,
They dance in mazy circles round;
Like venturous nestlings in the shower,
Trying their new-fledged pinions' power.
The boughs ice-sheathed shake, bristling out,
And coral holly berries pout
In crystal cradles, like the shine
Of goblets flushed with blood-red wine:
Whilst whistling breezes hurry by,
Snow-clad December's feeble cry,
And the pale moonlight downward twirls,
Riding upon the snow's cold curls.
The subtle net of mist is wove,
And all below, and all above
Are twinkling through it, the stars beam
With many a flash and fitful gleam,
Like gold-scaled fishes struggling
In flimsy purse of fisher's ring.
Within the hall is banquet high,
Dazzling with torch and ladies' eye,
Rich wine, with steaming wavelets' swell,
Is bubbling in its silver well,
And from the hearth warm streamlets flow
Of cheerful heat and flickering glow;
With murmur loud the rebel fire
Is spitting forth its flameful ire,
Licking with curled fang the bar,
And reeking in the strife of war,
And waving through the smoke-dimmed air
Its blazing banner of red glare:
With spicy wreaths the goblet's crowned,
And jests and laughter sparkle round.
Such feasts of joy and ease repay
The toil and dulness of the day,
And lighten the dull hours of even,
Like stars that guild the dome of heaven.
'Now for a tale,' exclaimed the Knight,
'Breathing the love of ladies bright,
'And virtues high and sorrow deep,
'Till music's self shall seem to weep:
'Call forth that wandering minstrel boy,
'That with his lyre-string loves to toy.'
The youth was brought, and low he bowed
Modestly to the noble crowd.
'Strike,' quoth the Knight, 'some simple tune,
'Like blackbird's song in leafy June;
'And veil the words you chaunt aloud
'Of love, or war, in music's cloud,'
He said: with finger springing light
To joyous sounds, the songster wight
First tuned his lyre, then danced along
Amid the mazy paths of song.





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