Music II

These are the first two of four pieces on poems by Emily Dickinson;

(from a series of mail art pieces)


1

The wind tapped like a tired man,
And
like a host, "come in", I boldly answered;
entered
then My residence within.

A rapid, footless guest, / To offer whom a chair / Were as impossible as
hand / A sofa to the air.

No bone had he to bind him, / His speech was like the push / Of numerous humming-birds
at once / from a superior bush.

His countenance a billow, / His fingers, if he pass, / let go a music,
as of tunes / Blow tremulous in glass.

He visited, still flitting; / Then, like a timid man, / Again he tapped
-'twas flurriedly- / And I became alone.



2

There came a wind like a bugle;

It quivered through the grass;

And a green chill upon the heat / So ominous did pass

We barred the windows and the doors

As from an emerald ghost; / The doom's electric moccasin / That very instant passed.

On a strange mob of panting trees, / And fences fled away,

 

And rivers where the houses ran

The living looked that day.

The bell within the steeple wild / The flying tidings whirled.

How much can come / And much can go, / And yet abide the world!

 

3

The wind begun to rock the grass / With threatening tunes and low,- / He flung a menace at the earth, / A menace at the sky.

The leaves unhooked themselves / from trees / And started all abroad; / The dust did scoop itself like hands
/ And throw away the road.

 

The wagons quickened on the streets, / The thunder hurried slow; / The lightning showed a yellow beak,
/ And then a livid claw.

 

The birds put up the bars to nests, / The cattle fled to barns; / There came one drop of giant rain, / And then, as if the hands

 

That held the dams had parted hold, / The waters wrecked the sky, / But overlooked my father's house,
/ Just quartering a tree.

 

4

South winds jostle them,

Bumblebees come,

Hover, hesitate,

Drink, and are gone.

Butterflies pause

On their passage Cashmere;

I, softly plucking,

Present them here!



 The Wife's Lament
from the Exeter Book

music from the note-book of Joop Visser