The Bard

The bard sits lonely in the hall,
His cherished harp beside him.
From friend so dear, whate'er befall,
No moment can divide him.
Erect and calm, he sits alone, —
The only friend he feels his own,
His cherished harp beside him.

A pageant throng now fills the hall: —
There beauty darts her glances,
And mingled voices joyous call
For song and wine and dances.
He sits apart from all the train, —
The song and dance invite in vain;
Unfelt are beauty's glances.

The present has no charms for him;
The distant only wakes him.
Where hoary eld lies dark and dim,
A living spirit takes him.
Unbidden to life's banquet, he
Wide wanders, all alone, yet free,
As ancient glory wakes him.

The song is swelling in the hall,
Loud music clangs around him,
When quick, as touched by lightning, fall
The chains that silent bound him.
He throws his hand athwart his strings;
A clear, sweet tone, preluding, rings;
His Genius hovers round him.

The song is hushed; the clang is still;
Spell-bound, they pause to hear him:
He bends and sways their hearts at will;
Entranced they gather near him:
Full-toned, yet soft, his measures roll;
They fill with deep delight the soul:
They cannot choose but hear him.

The bard has gone, — his song is o'er,
Yet still he sits before them.
He wakes his magic harp no more;
Its tones still hover o'er them.
Away he wanders, sad and lone, —
Still sits he there, as on a throne,
Erect and calm, before them.
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