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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Philip Bourke Marston 1850–87

Love’s Music

LOVE held a harp between his hands, and, lo!

The master hand, upon the harp-strings laid

By way of prelude, such a sweet tune play’d

As made the heart with happy tears o’er-flow;

Then sad and wild did that strange music grow,

And—like the wail of woods by storm gusts sway’d,

While yet the awful thunder’s wrath is stay’d,

And earth lies faint beneath the coming blow,—

Still wilder wax’d the tune; until at length

The strong strings, strain’d by sudden stress and sharp

Of that musician’s hand intolerable,

And jarr’d by sweep of unrelenting strength,

Sunder’d, and all the broken music fell.

Such was Love’s music,—lo, the shatter’d harp!