Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Preludes (1875)
V. To the Belovèd Dead
By Alice Meynell (1847–1922)
 
A Lament

BELOVÈD, thou art like a tune that idle fingers
          Play on a window-pane.
The time is there, the form of music lingers;
          But O thou sweetest strain,
Where is thy soul? Thou liest i’ the wind and rain.        5
 
Even as to him who plays that idle air,
          It seems a melody,
For his own soul is full of it, so, my Fair,
          Dead, thou dost live in me,
And all this lonely soul is full of thee.        10
 
Thou song of songs!—not music as before
          Unto the outward ear;
My spirit sings thee inly evermore,
          Thy falls with tear on tear.
I fail for thee, thou art too sweet, too dear.        15
 
Thou silent song, thou ever voiceless rhyme,
          Is there no pulse to move thee,
At windy dawn, with a wild heart beating time,
          And falling tears above thee,
O music stifled from the ears that love thee?        20
 
Oh, for a strain of thee from outer air!
          Soul wearies soul, I find.
Of thee, thee, thee, I am mournfully aware,
          —Contained in one poor mind,
Who wert in tune and time to every wind.        25
 
Poor grave, poor lost belovèd! but I burn
          For some more vast To be.
As he that played that bootless tune may turn
          And strike it on a lyre triumphantly,
I wait some future, all one lyre for thee.        30
 
 
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