from the author's hearing Vivian play Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue in d minor.
I dreamt of an Abyssinian maid,
who on a clavichord played
a chromatic fantasy by Bach.
All that's best of loud and soft
Met in its tempo and its form;
A venerable fugue which with every turn
Denied attention to Keats' precious urn.
Over arpeggiated mountains and figured bass*
Pulsed a song of mellow grace,
as steadily as my darling's chest palpates.
Each note, precisely placed
to provoke contrapuntal motion,
A sunless sea of sonorous sounds --
Abluted by priests into a mellifluous ocean.
The subject** wandered lonely as a cloud
momently stumbling upon a host of golden cadences!
Softly I sank into this bed of cadential joy.
The swell of every mighty chord
struck my heart like Bruce Lee's foot a board;
As consecutive notes ascend,
urging in the end --
I tugged the fugue from Time!
But alas, after three minutes' war
The maid re-folded her hands
And the music slipped beneath fleeting dream-sands.
*characteristic of Baroque music -- the clear notation of harmonic progression over which a soloist improvises.
**In a fugue, the main melodic figure is called the subject.