Masks (Poem by Edwin John Dove Pratt)

Beautiful Poem

By Edwin John Dove Pratt

        What hidden soul residing
        Within these forms, O sea!
        Should, every hour changing,
        To Time yet changeless be?
        What masks hast thou not worn,
        What parts not played,
        Thou Prince of all the Revels
        In Life's Masquerade?
        Light-hearted as a jester,
        The motley fits thy mood,
        As the gold and the purple,
        Thy statelier habitude.
                At dawn — 
A trumpeter preluding a day's pageant.
                At noon — 
A dancer weaving new measures around the
        furrows of ships with white sails.
                Later — 
A courier with sealed tidings hastening towards the shore.
                At sunset — 
A dyer steeping colors on a bay.
                Again — 
A sculptor teasing faces out of the moonlit foam on a reef.
Or carving bric-a-brac upon a beach,
Or fashioning, with age-toiled hands, a grotto
        out of limestone.
                The wind blows — 
And a master puts a flute to his lips.
                It blows again — 
And his fingers take hold of organ stops ....

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