Two Poems by Robert Heard
Echo and the Narcissists
Deep in her cave,
Is Echo, distracted,
Narcissists in flower;
Who toward her are stalking,
In her direction are pointing
Up the bright road,
Where are voices in caves;
By herself unheard,
But always answered,
Drowned in the test
Of who loudest can shout.
Orpheus is deaf; he has no ear
For music fallen from a broken Sphere;
Which was, of Spheres, only one of many,
And for its music, least of any;
But was kept spinning, and in tune,
Imperfectly, by Sol and Lune.
But now He’s deaf to every prayer;
Music has petrified the air.
Lies asleep in a running stream
Of music pitched to an eagle’s scream
A god might hear, bound to a rock,
His side torn open, left in shock.
Deaf and mute with all the birds;
Senseless, not attempting words;
Silent now the voice that bade
Creatures sing when they were made;
Like the stars, could they tell
Music from the noise of hell.