The "Piano" is a lyric poem filled with a reflection of a childhood event. It is the thoughts and feelings of a single speaker. It is dusk, and the speaker is listening to someone play a piano:
Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.
As the speaker listens to the woman singing, he is carried back to the time he sat at his mother's feet as she played the piano. The speaker reminisces about the time his mother would sing and play the piano. It was a cold wintry Sunday evening in the speaker's mind. He is carried back to the "cosy parlour."
Brought back to the present, the woman singing is playing in a clamor, but it is of no use to try and entertain the speaker into a joyous experience. He is weeping for the fond memories he has of the days long ago when he sat at his mother's feet:
So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.