Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON AN AIR OF RAMEAU (TO ARNOLD DOLMETSCH), by ARTHUR WILLIAM SYMONS



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ON AN AIR OF RAMEAU (TO ARNOLD DOLMETSCH), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A melancholy desire of ancient things
Last Line: The harpsichord dreams of, sighing in the room.
Subject(s): Rameau, Jean-phillippe (1683-1764)


A melancholy desire of ancient things
Floats like a faded perfume out of the wires;
Pallid lovers, what unforgotten desires,
Whispered once, are retold in your whisperings?

Roses, roses, and lilies with hearts of gold,
These you plucked for her, these she wore in her breast;
Only Rameau's music remembers the rest,
The death of roses over a heart grown cold.

But these sighs? Can ghosts then sigh from the tomb?
Life then wept for you, sighed for you, chilled your breath?
It is the melancholy of ancient death
The harpsichord dreams of, sighing in the room.





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