Poetry of Kansas

The Baneful Gift.

"Sing," says Adolphus, and the minstrel
            sings.
    The soldiers barely lift their gloomy eyes.
But soon the magic voice and wizard strings,
    Re-arm defeat with hopes of fresh emprise.
 
"Amazing!" cried the king, "in vain I
            sought
    To move my men as you their zeal inspire
Accept this jewel, with a kingdom bought,
    And yet scarce meet for one of Heaven's
            choir.
 
"Sing, mighty minstrel, thine enraptured
            voice
    Should rouse the heavy hearted far and
            near.
Let sorrow 'neath thy soothing spell rejoice,
    And let despair make way for hope and
            cheer."
 
Again the singer raised his voice to sing,
    Again pealed forth the strains surpassing
            sweet.
But disappointment fell on court and king;
    The mystic charm was somehow incomplete.
 
For ever and anon the restless eye
    Would fasten on that jewel fair as dawn
And then, as if the blue should fail the sky,
    A subtle something from the song was gone
 
Days passed away : the gifted bard became
    An empty dreamer o'er a priceless stone;
Till scarce a spark remained of that rare
            flame
    Which lately with such wondrous light
            shone.
 
"Mine, mine the fault!" exclaimed the
            troubled king.
    He turned and gave an order to his men
"Take from the bard that rare and costly
            thing!"
    Then, then the singer sang with power again.

__Harry Edward Mills.

 

Select Sunflowers
Harry Edward Mills
(Fort Scott: Sunflower Press. 1901)
Pages 26-27

 
Kansas:  Poetry  History  Towns  Counties  Colleges  Libraries  Museums

January 5, 2005 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

Blue Skyways Kansas on the Net   Visit the Home Page for Kansas
  A service of the Kansas State Library