Alice Meynell

(22 September 1847 - 27 November 1922 / London)

Singers to Come


New delights to our desire
The singers of the past can yield.
I lift mine eyes to hill and field,
And see in them your yet dumb lyre,
poets unborn and unrevealed.

Singers to come, what thoughts will start
To song? What words of yours be sent
Through man's soul, and with earth be blent?
These words of nature and the heart
Await you like an instrument.

Who knows what musical flocks of words
Upon these pine-tree tops will light,
And crown these towers in circling flight,
And cross these seas like summer birds,
And give a voice to the day and night?

Something of you already is ours;
Some mystic part of you belongs
To us whose dream of your future throngs,
Who look on hills, and trees, and flowers,
Which will mean so much in your songs.

I wonder, like the maid who found,
And knelt to lift, the lyre supreme
Of Orpheus from the Thracian stream.
She dreams on its sealed past profound;
On a deep future sealed I dream.

She bears it in her wanderings
Within her arms, and has not pressed
Her unskilled fingers but her breast
Upon those silent sacred strings;
I, too, clasp mystic strings at rest.

For I, i' the world of lands and seas,
The sky of wind and rain and fire,
And in man's world of long desire--
In all that is yet dumb in these--
Have found a mysterious lyre.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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