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



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THE IMPROVISATORE: THE INDUCTION TO THE SECOND FYTTE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The minstrel ceased; the music's wings
Last Line: Caught his wild story from the blast.
Subject(s): Advice; Minstrels; Music & Musicians; Rites & Ceremonies; Singing & Singers; Songs


THE minstrel ceased; the music's wings
Swept lingering through the bounding strings;
With parting kiss his fingers brushed
The startled Iyre, and all was hushed.
Again the feasters sang and laughed,
Again the beaded wine was quaffed:—
The youth retired alone, unseen,
To wander o'er the fringy green
Of moonlight meadows, and to gaze
Upon the water-mirrored rays
Of stars, that sable midnight crown,
Like radiant blessings peeping down
From heaven upon our slumbers. There
He found the solitary fair
Agnes, in pensive mood reclined,
Feasting with dreams her thoughtful mind;
Light from her eyelids seemed to soar,
Her beauteous cheeks lay clustered o'er,
With curling tufts of amber thread
That twined around her pillowed head,
Like some plump peach, in sweetness ripe,
Spangled with many a dewy stripe,
Courted and kissed by every breeze,
Just severed from the parent trees,
That sleeps transparent grapes among,
On waving tendrils thickly strung.
At his approach she rose awhile,
And becked him onward with a smile,
In which her soul looked forth. 'Once more,'
She cried, 'a tale of fairy lore,
Sing, minstrel boy, of them who stray
In rainbow livery by day,
And nightly sleep in closing breast
Of summer flowers, or those, that dressed
In robes of flame, 'mongst marshes dance,
And dally with our thoughts; thou know'st
The frighted clown; or those who creep
Under our eyelids whilst we sleep,
And dally with our thoughts: thou know'st
Full many a tale of shrieking ghost,
And wandering fay, and gibing sprite,
That laugh away the hours of night.'
Her words flew gently from her tongue,
Like bees whose wings are honey-clung,
Bubbling through sweetness; as she said,
The youthful songster waved his head,
And summoned music from its sleep
Among the chords, with murmur deep,
And faultering accent, thus he sung,
Whilst his hand roved the strings among;
And she with eyelash onward cast,
Caught his wild story from the blast.





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