Poem: The Poet to be Yet by Arthur H. Adams

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Not he who sings smooth songs that soothe --
   Sweet opiates that lull asleep
   The sorrow that would only weep;
   There are some spirit-stains so deep
That only tears may wash away.

Not he whose lays thrill fiercely till
   The soul is sick with surfeiting,
   Such passion flies, and leaves its sting,
   Till through the body quivering
The wearied dull pain throbs again.

Not he whose glad voice says "Rejoice!"
   For whom no clouds o'ercast the sky;
   Whose god is in his heaven so high
   That this dull world he come not nigh:
Life is no sun-kissed optimist!

But he who Sorrow's presence knows,
   Who hears the minor chords beneath
   The song of life, and feels the breath
   Upon his cheek of quiet death,
Yet stirs and sings of life and love.

Who in his suffering yet can sing;
   With that calm pathos in his face ---
   The hopeless yearning of the race ---
   Can chant the faith that holds its place,
Upsurging through each sore heart's speech;

Who, though his heart bleed, onward leads;
   Who knows eternal is our quest,
   Yet bids us toil and strive --- not rest ---
   Who looks life o'er and takes its best ---
This is the poet to be yet!

First published in Maoriland and Other Verses by Arthur H. Adams, 1899.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 10, 2012 7:58 AM.

Reprint: Authorship: Local Discouragements by Arthur H. Adams was the previous entry in this blog.

Caricature #14 - "Harold Mercer" is the next entry in this blog.

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