To Nannette Falk-Auerbach
by Sidney Lanier
Oft as I hear thee, wrapt in heavenly art,
The massive message of Beethoven tell
With thy ten fingers to the people's heart
As if ten tongues told news of heaven and hell, --
Gazing on thee, I mark that not alone,
Ah, not alone, thou sittest: there, by thee,
Beethoven's self, dear living lord of tone,
Doth stand and smile upon thy mastery.
Full fain and fatherly his great eyes glow:
He says, "From Heaven, my child, I heard thee call
(For, where an artist plays, the sky is low):
Yea, since my lonesome life did lack love's all,
In death, God gives me thee: thus, quit of pain,
Daughter, Nannette! in thee I live again."