Why slumber thy lyre, which so often resounded

" Why slumbers thy lyre, which so often resounded
With the trill of delight and the warble of love,
By whose lively numbers the heart featly bounded,
Which so often the sweet wreath of melody wove?

" Why sleeps it so silently? Is there no lover
That asks for its strain with his heart to condole?
Are there no light pinions, that carelessly hover,
To wake all its sweetness, and kindle its soul?

" Why hangs on the willow thy harp of delight?
Why loves it the gloom of those low-drooping boughs?
Why hides it so deeply in shadows of night,
And asks for no hand its wild sweetness to rouse?

" Has the hand of the bard lost its magical skill?
Is it palsied with sickness, or nerveless with woe?
Are its fingers benumbed by cold poverty's chill,
That they bid not its wild notes enchantingly flow? "

" 'T is not sickness or sorrow that palsies my arm;
'T is not poverty's winter that weakens its powers;
'T is what can the hero's bold spirit disarm,
And start the salt tear in love's amaranth-bowers.

" 'T is because no sweet paeans are swelling my fame,
No halo of glory encircles my brow:
'T is because no dear maid fondly dwells on my name,
Kindly smiles when we meet, and repeats the warm vow.

" When my spirits are sunk, when despondency reigns,
I hang up my harp on the low-drooping willow.
How can I then waken its soft-breathing strains?
How can pleasure look smiling on grief's thorny pillow?

" Should I tune my sweet harp, how discordant would sound
All its chords, when the demon is wringing my soul!
The strain would depress even mirth's lightest bound,
And sadden the eyes that in ecstasy roll.

" When you hear no light strain from my grot gently flow,
When you scarce hear a breath in the willow's dark grove,
Then know, that my bosom is bursting with woe,
For fruitless ambition, and fond, hopeless love.

" When scarce a faint warble is heard on the wire,
And sounds o'er the chords slowly, dyingly move,
O, there 's nothing can kindle anew my lost fire,
But the meteor of fame and the soft light of love! "
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