Verse > Anthologies > Higginson and Bigelow, eds. > American Sonnets
Higginson and Bigelow, comps.  American Sonnets.  1891.
To a Face at a Concert
By Edward Rowland Sill (1841–1887)
WHEN the low music makes a dusk of sound
  About us, and the viol or far-off horn
  Swells out above it like a wind forlorn,
  That wanders seeking something never found,
What phantom in your brain, on what dim ground,        5
  Traces its shadowy lines? What vision, born
  Of unfulfillment, fades in mere self-scorn,
  Or grows, from that still twilight stealing round,
When the lids droop and the hands lie unstrung?
  Dare one divine your dream, while the chords weave        10
  Their cloudy woof from key to key, and die,—
Is it one fate that, since the world was young,
  Has followed man, and makes him half believe
  The voice of instruments a human cry?

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