A Ballad of Forgotten Tunes: to V.L.

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Agnes Mary Frances Robinson

FORGOTTEN seers of lost repute
  That haunt the banks of Acheron,
Where have you dropped the broken lute
  You played in Troy or Calydon ?
  O ye that sang in Babylon
By foreign willows cold and grey,
  Fall'n are the harps ye hanged thereon,
Dead are the tunes of yesterday !

De Coucy, is your music mute,
  The quaint old plain-chant woe-begone
That served so many a lover's suit ?
  Oh, dead as Adam or Guédron !
  Then, sweet De Caurroy, try upon
Your virginals a virelay ;
  Or play, Orlando, one pavonne—
Dead are the tunes of yesterday !

But ye whose praises none refute,
  Who have the immortal laurel won ;—
Trill me your quavering close acute,
  Astorga, dear unhappy Don !
  One air, Galuppi! Sarti, one
So many fingers used to play !—
  Dead as the ladies of Villon,
Dead are the tunes of yesterday !


  Vernon, in vain you stoop to con
The slender, faded notes to-day—
  The Soul that dwelt in them is gone :
Dead are the tunes of yesterday !

Title of volume of first printing
An Italian Garden: A Book of Songs
T. Fisher Unwin
Page numbers in original volume