The Unconquered Air, and Other Poems (1912)/To the Author of "Madame Butterfly"

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Also published as "To John Luther Long: On Seeing His Opera 'Madame Butterfly'" in Book News Monthly (Jun 1912). This poem was not included in Mrs. Coates' collected Poems (1916, in 2 vols.).


on seeing the opera

Poet, it was your soul created her:
 Yours was the vision lovely and supreme,
 Yours the appealing, high-imagined theme,
That like a breath of attar-rose or myrrh,
Piercing the sense, made Art her worshiper—
 Made heavenly Music long to be, and seem,
 A part of the impassionating dream,
An added accent, beauty to confer.

And Music to that service, as desired,
Brought lofty harmonies—so love inspired—
 And melodies as pure as they are sweet;
Yet 't is the soul of Cio-Cio-San alone,
Untouched by any genius but your own,
 That makes the charm so lasting, so complete.