Song to my HARP 1798.

to my
1798. [1] 

Ah! why my soft-ton'd, plaintive harp,
Art thou to pleasure's voice so mute?
Are then her accents harsh or sharp?
Discordant sounds her silver lute?
In vain she calls the sportive muse,5
And bids her rouse thy slumb'ring fire,
Thy strings the sprightly notes refuse,
They languish there & soon expire.
Yet, in each sad & gloomy hour,
To sorrow's, softest, smother'd sigh,10
Regardful still, with soothing power,
Thine ever ready chords reply.
If Linda bid thee now rejoice, [2] 
Wilt thou not aid th'unusual call?
Wilt thou not aid her timid voice?15
Nor let her joys unnotic'd' fall?
Ah! why reluctant to obey
The stranger voice of gay delight?
Why do thy soft tones melt away,
Nor in kind sympathy night? [3]  20
Is it, that taught by grief too well,
Thou still must sigh tho' grief be past?
As the vex'd waves still heave & swell,
Tho' the wild winds are hush'd at last.
Or rather, does each trembling string,25
Now sad, with true, prophetic power,
O'er future sorrows murmuring,
Foretel the darkly, coming hour.
Thus, ere the furious storm appears,
Mournful the mountain spirit sighs,30
The groves lamenting tell their fears
Bleat the sad flock, the sea-bird cries.


[1] EDITOR'S NOTE: "Song to my Harp 1798" does not appear in Psyche, with Other Poems or Mary (or Collected Poems and Journals). BACK

[2] EDITOR'S NOTE: Tighe's coterie name. BACK

[3] EDITOR'S NOTE: The MS has a very faint underline under "night" (an odd word choice). BACK