A Souless Singer

Alfred Austin 1835 (Leeds) – 1913 (Ashford)



Hail! throstle, by thy ringing voice descried,
Not by the wanderings of the tuneless wing!
Now once again where forkëd boughs divide,
Lost in green leafage thou dost perch and sing:
Trilling, shrilling, far and wide,
``It is Spring.''

Thy matins peal long ere the rosy dawn
Unfolds its hull and burgeons into light;
Nor cease thy vespers till from darkling lawn
The silent shadows steal away in flight,
And the star-lit tent is drawn
Round the Night.

Is it in Heaven, or mid-way of the Earth,
Thou learn'st to outvoice, outnumber all the Nine?
What is the secret of thy madcap mirth?
Wilt thou not tell it me, and make it mine?
What is all my singing worth,
Matched with thine?

If heedless mortals only understood
What the prerogatives of real renown,
Hearing thee warble in umbrageous wood,
Or in the dingles of the rolling down,
It is thou, not I, that should
Wear the Crown.

And yet perchance more deep and more divine
The insufficiency of my poor strain.
One single solitary note is thine:
Weak though they haply be, yet I have twain.
Joy is all thy song; of mine
Half is pain.

Thou with thy carol flatterest the Year
But when it frolics into happy bloom:
Only those notes hast thou, wild chanticleer,
That with their thoughtlessness can banish gloom
From its cradle; I, a tear
For its tomb.

Thou with the blossom and bud and baby leaf,
Heartless of woe, dost revel and rejoice,
But for sere sorrow and the pensive sheaf
Lackest, for all thy minstrelsy, the voice:
There are seasons when sweet grief
Is our choice.

So, throstle, be the very voice of Spring,
And bring back rapture to the wrinkled bole!
Of all life's chords joy is the leading string,
And happiness is much, but not the whole.
Leave it then to me to sing
To the soul!

Font size:
Collection  PDF     
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:36 min read
80

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABABAB CACACA DEDEDE AFAFAF EGEGEG HIHIXI JKJKJK BLBLBL
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,699
Words 319
Stanzas 8
Stanza Lengths 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6

Alfred Austin

Alfred Austin DL was an English poet who was appointed Poet Laureate in 1896 upon the death of Alfred, Lord Tennyson. more…

All Alfred Austin poems | Alfred Austin Books

1 fan

Discuss the poem A Souless Singer with the community...

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "A Souless Singer" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 28 May 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/654/a-souless-singer>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    May 2024

    Poetry Contest

    Join our monthly contest for an opportunity to win cash prizes and attain global acclaim for your talent.
    3
    days
    23
    hours
    37
    minutes

    Special Program

    Earn Rewards!

    Unlock exciting rewards such as a free mug and free contest pass by commenting on fellow members' poems today!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    The use of words and phrases to create mental images and evoke sensory experiences is called _______.
    A imagery
    B symbolism
    C personification
    D metaphor