The Old Violin

How well I remember my grandfather’s breeches –
The short, roomy legs, with the bags at at the knees,
The patches in front, the seat covered with stitches –
The seat quite as full as a sail in the breeze:
The faded straw hat and the wide-knit suspenders,
The hickory shirt, like as armor of tin:
And grandfather, one of Apollo’s defenders,
Essaying to play on the old violin.

How grandly he looked in the light of the glooming,
His legs deftly crossed and his face all aglow;
How youthful the scenes, where his spirit was roaming,
As he all so carefully “ros’nd” the bow,
How proudly he smiled on the children around him;
How slowly we bided his time to begin,
We knew that the spirit had caught him and bound him,
When he sounded the “E” of the old violin.

O, fair were the lilies that waved in the meadows,
Still fairer the roses that bloomed on the hill,
Yet fairer than all was the lithe little shadow
I swung to the tune of “The Old Cider Mill.”
How lightly we floated around through the mazes,
Her fair little head resting close to my chin;
Our souls were entranced by the rhythmical hazes
That flowed from the heart of the old violin.

Now old are the graves, and the zephyrs sigh o’er them,
A requiem sad, as of days that are gone;
The green-spreading elm waving grandly before them,
Keeps faithful his vigil from darkness til dawn,
O, long has she slumbered – may God rest her ever –
Yet deep in my heart, that no other can win,
Her love is enshrined with the fame of the giver,
Who willed me the soul of the old violin.

Sent in by A.G., Boston,Mass

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