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Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950). Spoon River Anthology. 1916.

238. Joseph Dixon

WHO carved this shattered harp on my stone?

I died to you, no doubt. But how many harps and pianos

Wired I and tightened and disentangled for you,

Making them sweet again—with tuning fork or without?

Oh well! A harp leaps out of the ear of a man, you say,

But whence the ear that orders the length of the strings

To a magic of numbers flying before your thought

Through a door that closes against your breathless wonder?

Is there no Ear round the ear of a man, that it senses

Through strings and columns of air the soul of sound?

I thrill as I call it a tuning fork that catches

The waves of mingled music and light from afar,

The antennæ of Thought that listens through utmost space.

Surely the concord that ruled my spirit is proof

Of an Ear that tuned me, able to tune me over

And use me again if I am worthy to use.