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Ballad of Broken Flutes

Written by: Edwin Arlington Robinson | Biography
 | Quotes (9) |
 In dreams I crossed a barren land, 
A land of ruin, far away; 
Around me hung on every hand 
A deathful stillness of decay; 
And silent, as in bleak dismay 
That song should thus forsaken be, 
On that forgotten ground there lay 
The broken flutes of Arcady. 

The forest that was all so grand 
When pipes and tabors had their sway 
Stood leafless now, a ghostly band 
Of skeletons in cold array. 
A lonely surge of ancient spray 
Told of an unforgetful sea, 
But iron blows had hushed for aye 
The broken flutes of Arcady. 

No more by summer breezes fanned, 
The place was desolate and gray; 
But still my dream was to command 
New life into that shrunken clay. 
I tried it. Yes, you scan to-day, 
With uncommiserating glee, 
The songs of one who strove to play 
The broken flutes of Arcady. 


So, Rock, I join the common fray, 
To fight where Mammon may decree; 
And leave, to crumble as they may, 
The broken flutes of Arcady.