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  • Mathew Block

Poor Instrument

Poor instrument am I, and so rejected—

Now sharp, now flat, now tarrying behind.

I flout the score the flautist has selected,

Mar the tune the player has designed.

So dies the music as it leaves his lips,

A symptom of unseen, but spreading, rot.

Daily now my tuning further slips,

And ruinous still grows the fatal blot. 

Not always was I so. My shaper shaped

Me tenderly, and with a craftsman’s skill.

But I declined his songs, myself unshaped,

And bent my wood to ape my twisted will.

But now I cry, renew, restore, remake me!

And the reply? “To do, I first must break thee.”

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