Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume I/The Violin

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For works with similar titles, see Violin.
For other versions of this work, see The Violin (Coates).


HE gave me all, and then he laid me by.
Straining my strings to breaking with his pain,
He voiced an anguish, through my wailing cry,
Never to speak again.

He pressed his cheek against me, and he wept—
Had we been glad together over much?—
Emotions that within me deep had slept
Grew vibrant at his touch,

And I who could not ask whence sprung his sorrow,
Responsive to a grief I might not know,
Sobbed as the infant that each mood doth borrow
Sobs for the mother's woe.

Wild grew my voice and stormy with his passion,
Lifted at last unto a tragic might;
Then swift it changed in sad and subtile fashion
To pathos infinite,

Swooning away beneath his faltering fingers
Till the grieved plaint seemed, echoless, to die;
When, calm, he rose, and with a touch that lingers,
Laid me forever by.

Forever! Ah, he comes no more—my lover!
And all my spirit wrapped in trance-like sleep,
Darkling I dream that such a night doth cover
His grief with hush as deep.