A Bach Recital
By John Delonas
Art of Arts forgive me
That I should dare
Write of your winged song,
Just like a sculptor,
Marking in stone,
The flight of birds.
For often have I heard your voice
Strident on the morning wind,
And drowzing in the reeds of Autumn,
Piping a chant the Acheans knew
In their jasper halls: the same music
Lisps through the littered ruins now:
The same that soothed the melancholy of Saul
And led Galahad to the Holy Grail.
Your reeds infirm the earth
And turn this quaking statue
Towards windows of distant scope;
Arousing pictures of beauty which are not you!
That I must conjure you in sight and flail
My beating senses to learn something of you;
But none can know your virgin stimuli,
Or with imagery unlock the altar door;
Only as a vision past you come and leave us
As small boats in a submarine's wake:
The fool says you are the rocking,
The scientist says the wave;
This informed heart says nothing:
But stands desolate shielding its eyes.