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



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THE IMPROVISATORE: THE INDUCTION TO THE THIRD FYTTE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The tale was said. Fair agnes rose
Last Line: Upon the marvels of his tongue.
Subject(s): Aging; Bribery; Minstrels; Music & Musicians; Singing & Singers; Women; Songs


THE tale was said. Fair Agnes rose,
And tripped to court a night's repose;
There in her chamber soon she lay,
(Her every dream with warblings gay
Of fairies serenaded,) hidden
'Midst folds of warmth, while night-clouds, ridden
By thought-winged visions, and bright fringed
With rosy thoughts, her slumbers tinged;
Like bashful fragrance, buried deep
In curling leaves, that nightly weep
Their melted souls of sweets away.
The minstrel turned: a feeble ray
Of quivering came slowly nigh,
And ancient Margaret caught his eye.
She was an old and tottering crone;
Her skin was shrivelled round the bone,
And seemed a sear-cloth wrapped around
A 'wakened mummy. O'er the ground
Her feet were wandering doubtfully;
And in her stagnant, frozen, eye,
The last blue spark was glimmering.
The years behind had stayed to fling
The silver crown of reverend age,
The halo that adorns the sage,
Upon her thinly sprinkled curls,
That grew, like vegetable pearls
Of mistletoe, around her brow,
And bounded on her temples low.
Her voice came stumbling o'er her teeth,
Half frozen by her misty breath,
Chaining the ear with broken links
Of muttered words. With joyful winks,
And shivering hands, that tried to clasp
The songster in their feeble grasp;
She hailed the youth, and drew his arm
Into her own, while to a warm
Small room she led him; there she placed
All that is sweet to sight or taste.
The wine, that rolled in sunny tears
In gold-lined cups with massive ears;
While from the bright depth quickly spring
Bubbles in many a bounding string,
Like golden eggs with sweetness swelling,
Whence, on the surface gently dwelling,
On steamy wing of brightness rushes,
The halcyon of those sparkling gushes,
Pleasure, hatched beneath the bowl,
That warbles rapture to the soul.
The while he drank, she praised his power,
And bribed his presence for an hour;
A lay of wildness loud he sung,
While the old dame in silence hung
Upon the marvels of his tongue.





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