The Poets


    O ye dead Poets, who are living still
        Immortal in your verse, though life be fled,
        And ye, O living Poets, who are dead
        Though ye are living, if neglect can kill,
    Tell me if in the darkest hours of ill,
        With drops of anguish falling fast and red
        From the sharp crown of thorns upon your head,
        Ye were not glad your errand to fulfil?
    Yes; for the gift and ministry of Song
        Have something in them so divinely sweet,
        It can assuage the bitterness of wrong;
    Not in the clamor of the crowded street,
        Not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng,
        But in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.


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Return to the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; The Poet's Calendar

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