David Herbert Lawrence
Piano (1918)


Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;


Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see


A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings


And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.




In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song


Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong


To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside


And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.




So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour


With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour


Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast


Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

2. vista: a view of especially great depth.

5. insidious: operating stealthily with evil effect; sinister.

10. appassionato: to play with great passion and vigor.