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

William Caldwell Roscoe 1823–59

The Master-Chord

LIKE a musician that with flying finger

Startles the voice of some new instrument,

And, though he know that in one string are blent

All its extremes of sound, yet still doth linger

Among the lighter threads, fearing to start

The deep soul of that one melodious wire,

Lest it, unanswering, dash his high desire,

And spoil the hopes of his expectant heart;

Thus, with my mistress oft conversing, I

Stir every lighter theme with careless voice,

Gathering sweet music and celestial joys

From the harmonious soul o’er which I fly;

Yet o’er the one deep master-chord I hover,

And dare not stoop, fearing to tell—I love her.