Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward

The Lost Poem

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Flushed with fancies, I bethought me,
"Into music I will set them,
Like a pearl into its setting
Of the finest golden fretting;
Never shall the world forget them;
It shall sing me, ring me back the melody;
It shall rise and bless the poem while it blesseth me."


But, ah me! some faintness ailed me,
Or it ailed the music rather.
Was it all a stir of gladness?
Was it half a pang of sadness?
Do my best, I could not gather
From my heart's store any chord of harmony;
No other thought was music to me but the thought of thee.


Proud as joy my failure makes me!
Proud I sit and sing about it;
Not in finest poet-fashion,
Not for deepest poet's passion,
Would my soul have gone without it,
While the old earth asketh song or psalmody,
Heart, remember! love shall still the truest music be!

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Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward