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.

Organ! Organ!
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.

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