The Tattered Bard
Tattered, sorely tattered the old bard lay
his velvet voice spilled out in disarray,
his ivory hands once smooth upon the string
now knobbed as sticks, his throat too dry to sing.
A thousand dead men’s tales his faun’s eyes tell,
his heart a cracking cup for a bottomless well.
His love’s a sighing flame fed by hollow grass
lighting a nightwatch breath, then spent and passed.
Yet in the living dark he feels the pull
and drip of words from a moon that's overfull.
A mimosa dryad comes to fetch his sigh
and he hears the roar of music that won't die.
And still from miles around the lasses come
to bring him bread and honey, or sometimes none
but only a white breast pillow to hold his head
where he can believe he’s old, but still not dead.
For all the old poets
Posted for real toads
I cheated a bit on this prompt, which was to take a line from a poet you felt you should like more as a way to get into his/her poetry; however I patterned it after a poet I actually do mostly like, John Keats, but whom I find very stylized and florid compared to modern poets. But this little rhyme seems to play off that style to me, so I hope it qualifies.
(Here's a link to a Keats bard poem for reference.)
Image: The Bard, by Benjamin West, 1778, oil on oak
Public domain via Wikimedia Commons