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Chamber Music

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I Strings in the earth and airMake music sweet;Strings by the river whereThe willows meet.There's music along the riverFor Love wanders there,Pale flowers on his mantle,Dark leaves on his hair.All softly playing,With head to the music bent,And fingers strayingUpon an instrument.

II The twilight turns from amethystTo deep and deeper blue,The lamp fills with a pale green glowThe trees of the avenue.The old piano plays an air,Sedate and slow and gay;She bends upon the yellow keys,Her head inclines this way.Shy thought and grave wide eyes and handsThat wander as they list—The twilight turns to darker blueWith lights of amethyst.

III At that hour when all things have repose,O lonely watcher of the skies,Do you hear the night wind and the sighsOf harps playing unto Love to uncloseThe pale gates of sunrise?When all things repose, do you aloneAwake to hear the sweet harps playTo Love before him on his way,And the night wind answering in antiphonTill night is overgone?Play on, invisible harps, unto Love,Whose way in heaven is aglowAt that hour when soft lights come and go,Soft sweet music in the air aboveAnd in the earth below.

IV When the shy star goes forth in heavenAll maidenly, disconsolate,Hear you amid the drowsy evenOne who is singing by your gate.His song is softer than the dewAnd he is come to visit you.O bend no more in reveryWhen he at eventide is calling.Nor muse: Who may this singer beWhose song about my heart is falling?Know you by this, the lover's chant,'Tis I that am your visitant.

V Lean out of the window,Goldenhair,I hear you singingA merry air.My book was closed,I read no more,Watching the fire danceOn the floor.I have left my book,I have left my room,For I heard you singingThrough the gloom.Singing and singingA merry air,Lean out of the window,Goldenhair.

VI I would in that sweet bosom be(O sweet it is and fair it is!)Where no rude wind might visit me.Because of sad austeritiesI would in that sweet bosom be.I would be ever in that heart(O soft I knock and soft entreat her!)Where only peace might be my part.Austerities were all the sweeterSo I were ever in that heart.

VII My love is in a light attireAmong the apple-trees,Where the gay winds do most desireTo run in companies.There, where the gay winds stay to wooThe young leaves as they pass,My love goes slowly, bending toHer shadow on the grass;And where the sky's a pale blue cupOver the laughing land,My love goes lightly, holding upHer dress with dainty hand.

VIII Who goes amid the green woodWith springtide all adorning her?Who goes amid the merry green woodTo make it merrier?Who passes in the sunlightBy ways that know the light footfall?Who passes in the sweet sunlightWith mien so virginal?The ways of all the woodlandGleam with a soft and golden fire—For whom does all the sunny woodlandCarry so brave attire?O, it is for my true loveThe woods their rich apparel wear—O, it is for my own true love,That is so young and fair.