A Celebration of Women Writers

"The Troubadour's Lyre" by Laura Elizabeth McCully (1886-1924)
In Garvin, John William, ed. Canadian Poets. Toronto, Canada: McClelland, Goodchild & Stewart, Publishers, 1916. pp. 423-424.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

The Troubadour's Lyre

SING low, my precious lyre, low in each string,
Thou wast not framed for exaltation's burst,
Or chant sustained, straining thy golden chords,
Sing low, sing low, thou constant friend, my lyre!

For now we two may wander forth in peace,
Shattered our shackles are and stricken from us,
And we shall rise and steal out into the world,
Singing all day, on every way, my lyre.
Like Orpheus have we two sojourned through hell,
And with our eyes seen evil, nor availed
To wrest their treasure from the envious shades.
Therefore come forth, leave to the Gods their world!

If we should find that orchard lamped with gold
Of heart's desire, fasting will we pass on,
Nor rifle one small, new-blown wayside flower,
But bless its beauty, pass, and passing, sing.

Thus shall we travel light of foot and free,
And call the world our garden and the woods

[Page 424]

Our house, and hear the great winds call to us,
And sometimes feel the dripping of the dews
In lonely places. Come, for we are free.
O lyre, heart of my heart, formed for the wind
That is God's breath, and not for human hands
Jangling amid the strings, come, let us go!


Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom