Eight Harvard Poets/To a Passepied by Scarlatti

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Eight Harvard Poets
To a Passepied by Scarlatti
by Robert Hillyer

TO A PASSEPIED BY SCARLATTI


STRANGE little tune so thin and rare
Like scents of roses of long ago,
Quavering lightly upon the strings
Of a violin, and dying there
With a dancing flutter of delicate wings;
Thy courtly joy and thy gentle woe,
Thy gracious gladness and plaintive fears
Are lost in the clamorous age we know,
And pale like a moon in the lurid day;
A phantom of music, strangely fled
From the princely halls of the quiet dead,
Down the long lanes of the vanished years
Echoing frailly and far away.