Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE HAUNTED, by RHYS CARPENTER

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THE HAUNTED, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Masters of music, ye of tuneful vein
Last Line: God's blessing is your bane.
Subject(s): Ghosts; Loss; Music & Musicians; Singing & Singers; Supernatural; Songs

'Stop playing, brother: may a poet speak?' —BROWNING.

MASTERS of music, ye of tuneful vein,
Is it laughter or love or sorrow of heart
That fashions your art,
The blessing of God or the bane?
For ye wake in the night, in the winter long,
By day ye are haunted with tumult of sound,
Your straining eyes and your ears are bound
With charm of music and spell of song.

As ye walk alone in the flower-lit plain
The black earth opens at your feet,
And flutes and horns and viols sweet
From the sunless depth send up their strain;
And where, our peaceful thoughts among,
We wander unheeding by streams and hills,
For you, the water and forest fills
With whirl of music and whisper of song.

The chirp of the sparrow, the cry of the crane
As he leaves the marsh for the isleless air
Ye hearken not: 'tis a sound more fair
That burns in your heart and sings in your brain.
Ye are lost to the world; the biting thong
Of deed and duty binds you not.
Ah, wife and children your soul forgot
In passion of music and marriage of song.

Poor haunted hearts! with secret pain
God's madness lives upon your mind;
Unearthly vision makes you blind,
God's blessing is your bane.

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