National Poetry Month: Poems About Music, 10/30

Cover of the Elizabethan SongbookThe Lowest Trees Have Tops

The lowest trees have tops, the ant her gall,
The fly her spleen, the little spark his heat;
And slender hairs cast shadows, though but small,
And bees have stings, although they be not great;
Seas have their source, and so have shallow springs;
And love is love in beggars and in kings.

Where waters smoothest run, deep are the fords;
The dial stirs, yet none perceives it move;
The firmest faith is in the fewest words;
The turtles cannot sing, and yet they love;
True hearts have eyes and ears, no tongues to speak;
They hear, and see, and sigh, and then they break!


Today’s poem is a little outside the brief of “poems on music” but I learned about it, as probably others have, through the lute songs of John Dowland. A taste of Sting’s (much maligned) recording of the song.

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