Henrietta Cordelia Ray on

Published in Poem Of The Day

The subtlest strain a great musician weaves,
Cannot attain in rhythmic harmony
To music in his soul. May it not be
Celestial lyres send hints to him? He grieves
That half the sweetness of the song, he leaves
Unheard in the transition. Thus do we
Yearn to translate the wondrous majesty
Of some rare mood, when the rapt soul receives
A vision exquisite. Yet who can match
The sunset's iridescent hues? Who sing
The skylark's ecstasy so seraph-fine?
We struggle vainly, still we fain would catch
Such rifts amid life's shadows, for they bring
Glimpses ineffable of things divine.

About this poem
"Limitations" was published in Ray's book "Poems" (The Grafton Press, 1910).

About Henrietta Cordelia Ray
Henrietta Cordelia Ray was born in New York City in 1849. Her books include "Sonnets" (J. J. Little & Co., 1893) and "Poems" (The Grafton Press, 1910). In 1876 her poem "Lincoln" was read at the unveiling of the Emancipation Memorial in Washington, D.C. Ray died in 1917.

The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]poets.org.

This poem is in the public domain. Distributed by King Features Syndicate





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