Lord Leighton - Tristan and Isolde - 1902
Love Poems

Bards of Old

Consider how the bards of old had sung
Before their numbers vanished with the years,
And how their harps delighted captive ears
When all the world was green and fancy young;

Or how the meters of an antique tongue
Gave figuration to our hopes and fears,
To passions gravity, to love its tears,
The chords with which our human hearts are strung.

Alas, my song cannot unburthen care
Nor life’s unceasing worriments remove;
And though my lays be lost on empty air,

Yet, days to come shall not these notes reprove,
Whose sweetness imitates a single fair:
The music that is you, my one true love.

Joseph Charles MacKenzie is a traditional lyric poet of New Mexico. On February 1, 2020, he won the Society of Classical Poets Competition, taking First Place in the Best of 2019 category. He is also the only American to have won the Scottish International Poetry Competition (see: Times Literary Supplement, Jan 27, 2017). A Pushcart Prize nominee, MacKenzie's verses have appeared in The New York Times, The Scotsman (Edinburgh), The Independent (London), The Telegraph (London), and many other venues. He wirtes primarily for Trinacria (New York) and the Society of Classical Poets (New York).

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