Henry Clay Work

(1 October 1832 – 8 June 1884 / Middletown, Connecticut)

Touch The Sleeping Strings Again - Poem by Henry Clay Work

Say not, O say not, we are strangers,
By freak chance together brought;
Remind me not of lurking dangers
In wreaths of friendship quickly wrought.
Some sweet attraction draws me to you;
From Memory's harp strange murmurs flow;
And something makes me think I knew you
Beyond the sea of Long Ago.

Touch the sleeping strings and
tell me, tell me whether,
Thence comes music sweet and low:
Did not we walk some shore together
Beyond the sea of Long Ago?

Your eyes, in bashful glances falling,
Light up a landscape far away;
Your voice-- to hear it is recalling
A sweet but long forgotten lay.
When all the year was pleasant weather,
And none had heard of pain or woe,
Did not we sing this tune together
Beyond the sea of Long Ago?

Think not, although I speak so boldly,
That idle words are on my tongue;
Receive my greeting not so coldly,
Nor hush the harp that would have sung;
For lightly touched, as by a feather,
The sleeping strings will thrill, I know:
Were not our spririts linked together
Beyond the sea of Long Ago?


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Read poems about / on: together, sea, weather, memory, music, pain, light, sleep



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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