TO POETS WHO SING
To hear how language can be made to sing
As well as say, how sonorous vowels can ring
And echo line to line, harmoniously,
Is the grand vocation of old poetry;
Though, sadly now, such graces are forgotten,
And what was sweet and fragrant has turned rotten,
The sound no longer echoing the sense,
Few poets coming to poor rhyme’s defense,
While rhythm, too, is banished from most verse,
Which once made lines symmetrical and terse
That now proceed prosaically as prose—
How that’s a poem, one only may suppose.
Bring back, bring back, ye poets who can sing,
That tuneful verse which makes the welkin ring!