BLACK CAT POEMS
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The Spirit of Poesy
Martha Lavinia Hoffman
A viewless Spirit walks this changing earth
All unattended in her artless grace,
Phantoms of sadness blent with gleams of mirth
Play o'er the beauty of her childlike face.
She clasps a lyre in unfeigned ecstasy
And blends its music with her gentle voice,
Weird fancies steeped in subtle phantasy
Through its wild chords lament but to rejoice.
Not only to the lofty does she come,
To Nature not to Art her song belongs,
Oft is her music to the monarch dumb
While Nature's children revel in her songs.
She makes the forest trees speak words sublime,
She bids the flowers break forth in songs of praise,
Commands the stars a voiceless language shine,
Teaches the brooks to sing through stony ways.
In her is centered all that earth may boast,
, imagery and time have wrought,
The blooming vale or rugged cliff-bound coast
Are powerless if her wand has touched them not.
Her footsteps gild the sands upon the beach,
Her smiles reflect the heaven's supernal blue,
There is no height her magic cannot reach
And call forth gleams of beauty strange and new.
She prisons all the sunset's richest dyes
And pours them out to Nature's humblest child,
Age and disease her wondrous lyre defies
To hush its notes of rapture quaint and wild.
She softens sorrow with a plaintive grace,
in twilight's mystic spell,
Weird lights and shades through all her working chase
And glory lingers where she loves to dwell.
Deep in the ocean's fathomless abyss
She delves for pearls and visits briny caves,
Paints the bright sea-shells, enters to possess
The empire where the coral garden waves;
Gathers rare blooms unknown to sunny climes
And mosses in perpetual dampness sown,
Bears them aloft to Thought's immortal shrines
And claims the storms' dominion for her own.
Myriads hear the music of her voice
But few can grasp her deathless melody,
Many can see her beauty and rejoice
But few have power for other eyes to see.
Thousands can feel her presence and the spell
She sheds throughout the precincts of the heart,
But few her subtle influence can tell
And none can teach her teachings but in part;
For her sublimest songs no language find
That eloquence can conquer and control,
She writes them on the tablets of the mind,
They find an echo only in the
But not alone for gladness has she songs,
She loves the storm and mighty ocean surge,
Varied emotion to her lyre belongs,
Her happiest song is followed by the dirge.
Thus does she come with songs of grief and mirth,
With life's dark scroll in majesty unrolled,
She breathes upon the troubled seas of earth
Lo, they gush forth in streams of liquid gold.
Come Poesy, thou sea-nymph quaint and wild,
Thou seraph destined 'midst the stars to sing,
Thou fairy, Nature's own untutored child,
Come when the bloom of life lies withering.
Touch the dim eyes to Nature's glory blind,
Kindle the smoldering embers of the heart,
Waken the slumbering grandeur of the
And make the desert own thy magic art.
poems by Martha Lavinia Hoffman