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Mary Gardiner Horsford: The Poet’s Lesson

  

The Poet’s Lesson

There came a voice from the realm of thought,
And my spirit bowed to hear,–
A voice with majestic sadness fraught,
By the grace of God most clear.

A mighty tone from the solemn Past,
Outliving the Poet-lyre,
Borne down on the rush of Time’s fitful blast.
Like the cloven tongues of fire.

Wouldst thou fashion the song, O! Poet-heart,
For a mission high and free?
The drama of Life, in its every part,
Must a living poem be.

Wouldst thou speed the knight to the battle-field,
In a proven suit of mail?
On the world’s highway, with Faith’s broad shield,
The peril go forth to hail.

For the noble soul, there is noble strife,
And the sons of earth attain,
Through the wild turmoil and storm of Life,
To discipline, through pain.

Think not that Poesy liveth alone,
In the flow of measured rhyme;
The noble deed with a mightier tone
Shall sound through latest time.

Then poems two, at each upward flight,
In glorious measure fill;
Be the Poem in words, one of beauty and might,
But the Life one, loftier still.

Mary Gardiner Horsford
(1824-1855)
The Poet’s Lesson.

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