If with light head erect I sing
If with light head erect I sing,
Though all the Muses lend their force,
From my poor love of anything,
The verse is weak and shallow as its source.
But if with bended neck I grope
Listening behind me for my wit,
With faith superior to hope,
More anxious to keep back than forward it,
Making my soul accomplice there
Unto the flame my heart hath lit,
Then will the verse forever wear,
Time cannot bend the line which God had writ.
I hearing get, who had but ears,
And sight, who had but eyes before;
I moments live, who lived but years,
And truth discern, who knew but learning’s lore.
Now chiefly is my natal hour,
And only now my prime of life;
Of manhood’s strength it is the flower,
‘Tis peace’s end and war’s beginning strife.
It comes in a summer’s broadest noon,
By a gray wall, or some chance place,
Unseasoning time, insulting June,
And vexing day with its presuming face.
I will not doubt the love untold
Which not my worth nor want hath bought,
Which wooed me young, and woos me old,
And to this evening hath me brought.
|This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.|