Poem: The Lost Poet by Nellie A. Evans

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He was born to stir the spirit of his race to tears and laughter;
He was born to be the writer and the singer of his age.
For he had the gift in keeping, and the generations after
Should have held his name, "The Deathless," as a glorious heritage.

His the gift of dream and wonder, his to see with clearer vision
Through the old pretence and fashion, to the heart of Hidden Things;
But his people stood before him, and they barred the gift's fruition,
And they told him of the madness that such dreaming ever brings.

They had words to crush the yearning of the high ambitious spirits,
And they held his spirit downward as it struggled to the light;
And they whispered to each other, "'Tis the madness he inherits
From the Father and the Mother; let us guide his steps aright."

So they dragged him slowly downward -- he was young and very lonely,
And he turned him from the starway, and he made their cares his own,
And then -- Ah, shall we blame him, if he sunk a short while only
To the level of his kindred, for the wrong was theirs alone.

Then he woke as if from slumber, but the starry path was hidden,
And the spirit world was shrouded, and he sought its light in vain.
And the gift of song went from him, as it came to him, unbidden;
He had turned to meaner worship, and he might not sing again.

So he bade farewell for ever to the glowing spire and steeple,
To the strong blue hills a-shimmer, to the brightness of the sun,
And he left the youth behind him, that was slain by his own people,
In a grave rose-piled and hidden, and the poet-life was done.

Then he wandered forth a rover, and the dark and silent spaces
Never knew the sound of singing by its magic lay uncrossed;
But the wrong went up to heaven, and the angels bowed their faces,
And the stars were veiled and hidden for the poet who was lost.

First printed in The Bulletin, 24 December 1908

1 Comment

Note the second given name. I was a nephew to Nellie. She and my mother Agnes (Nancy) were sisters - Agnes was 6 years younger. I can supply a photograph and a good deal of early biographical material and have made a fairly good collection of the poems. Myself and my sister Lys - now in Alaska - and two daughters of brother Charlie, Peggy and Joan are probably the only ones with some recollection - but not much. I would greatly appreciate getting more info and sharing what I have.

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