A Passing Voice

Rose Hawthorne Lathrop

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"Turn me a rhyme," said Fate,
"Turn me a rhyme:
A swift and deadly hate
Blows headlong towards thee in the teeth of Time.
Write! or thy words will fall too late."

"Write me a fold," said Fate,
"Write me a fold,
Life to conciliate,
Of words red with thine heart's blood, hotly told.
Then, kings may envy thine estate!"

"Make thee a fame," said Fate,
"Make thee a fame
To storm the heaven-hung gate,
Unbarred alone to the victorious name
Which has Art's conquerors to mate."

"Die in thy shame," said Fate,
"Die in thy shame!
Naught here can compensate
But the proud radiance of that glorious flame,
Genius: fade, thou, unconsecrate!"

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