NECROMANCY

                        I

What necromancy lies in little things.
A yellow rose, set in a yellow jar,
Smiled through the window of a city shop,
And lo! the hot street vanished, and the voice
Of blatant commerce suddenly was hushed:
I seemed to walk along cool corridors,
Where fountains played, and priceless statues gleamed;
Out from an alcove tiptoed tender notes
Of harp strings lightly touched; a woman laughed;
And silken garments, kissing marble floors,
Exhaled a fragrance subtle as their sound.
No discords marred the harmony of life;
Beauty, and mirth, and music made the world
What necromancy lies in little things.

                         II

What necromancy lies in vagrant airs.
Idle and happy, basking in the sun,
Where art with nature held high carnival,
One summer day, there fell upon mine ear
A half-forgotten melody.  It flayed
My heart out into strings, whereon the hand
Of Pain strummed misereres: and the light,
Spilling upon the earth from flawless skies,
Was changed, and charged with darkness.  From deep graves,
Dead sorrows rose, with mold upon their shrouds;
And in the eyeless sockets of their skulls
Burned old despairs.  The haggard past stood forth
And hid the radiant present from my sight.
What necromancy lies in vagrant airs.

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Cosmopolitan 50 (Feb 1911): 291.


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