Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


To an Old Square Piano

Whose fingers wore your ivory keys
So thin—as tempest and tide-flow
Some pearly shell, the castaway
Of indefatigable seas
On a low shingle far away—
You will not tell, we cannot know.

Only, we know that you are come,
Full of strange ghosts melodious
The old years forget the echoes of,
From the ancient house into our home;
And you will sing of old-world love,
And of ours too, and live with us.

Sweet sounds will feed you here: our woods
Are vocal with the seawind's breath;
Nor want they wing-borne choristers,
Nor the ocean's organ-interludes.
—Be true beneath her hands, even hers
Who is more to me than life or death.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain.

About this Poem


“To an Old Square Piano” was originally published in Jeffers’s second collection Californians (Macmillan, 1916). 

Author


Robinson Jeffers

Drawing on the "beauty of things" in nature, Robinson Jeffers wrote poetry that highlighted the difference between the natural world and the condition of the modern man

Date Published: 2014-09-07

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/old-square-piano