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Edmund Clarence Stedman (Эдмунд Кларенс Стедман)


A hundred years, 't is writ,—O presage vain!—
⁠Earth wills her offspring life, ere one complete
His term, and rest from travail, and be fain
⁠To lay him down in natural death and sweet.

What of her child whose swift divining soul
⁠With triple fervor burns the torch apace,
And in one radiant third compacts the whole
⁠Ethereal flame that lights him on his race?

Ay, what of him who to the winds upheld
⁠A star-like brand, with pride and joy and tears,
And lived in that fleet course from youth to eld,
⁠Count them who will, his century of years?

The Power that arches heaven's orbway round
⁠Gave to this planet's brood its soul of fire,
Its heart of passion,—and for life unbound
⁠By chain or creed the measureless desire;

Gave to one poet these, and manifold
⁠High thoughts, beyond our lesser mortal share,—
Gave dreams of beauty, yes, and with a mould
⁠The antique world had worshipped made him fair;

Then touched his lips with music,—lit his brow,
⁠Even as a fane upon a sunward hill,
For strength, gave scorn, the pride that would not bow,
⁠The glorious weapon of a dauntless will.

But that the surcharged spirit—a vapor pent
⁠In beetling crags—a torrent barriered long—
A wind 'gainst heaven's four winds imminent—
⁠Might memorably vent its noble song,

Each soaring gift was fretted with a band
⁠That deadlier clung which way he fain would press:
His were an adverse age, a sordid land,
⁠Gauging his heart by their own littleness;

Blind guides! the fiery spirit scorned their curb,
⁠And Byron's love and gladness,—such the wise
Of ministrants whom evil times perturb,—
⁠To wrath and melancholy changed their guise.

Yet this was he whose swift imaginings
⁠Engirt fair Liberty from clime to clime,—
From Alp to ocean with an eagle's wings
⁠Pursued her flight, in Harold's lofty rime.

Where the mind's freedom was not, could not be,
⁠That bigot soil he rendered to disdain,
And sought, like Omar in his revelry,
⁠At least the semblance of a joy to gain.

Laughter was at his beck, and wisdom's ruth
⁠Sore-learned from fierce experiences that test
Life's masquerade, the carnival of youth,
⁠The world of man. Then Folly lost her zest,

Yet left undimmed (her valediction sung
⁠With Juan's smiles and tears) his natal ray
Of genius inextinguishably young,—
⁠An Eôs through those mists proclaiming day.

How then, when to his ear came Hellas' cry,
⁠He shred the garlands of the wild night's feast,
And rose a chief, to lead—alas, to die
⁠And leave men mourning for that music ceased!

America! When nations for thy knell
⁠Listened, one prophet oracled thy part:
Now, in thy morn of strength, remember well
⁠The bard whose chant foretold thee as thou art.

Sky, mount, and forest, and high-sounding main,
⁠The storm-cloud's vortex, splendor of the day,
Gloom of the night,—with these abide his strain,—
⁠And these are thine, though he has passed away;

Their elemental force had roused to might
⁠Great Nature's child in this her realm supreme,—
From their commingling he had guessed aright
⁠The plenitude of all we know or dream.

Read thou aright his vision and his song,
⁠That this enfranchised spirit of the spheres
May know his name henceforth shall take no wrong,
⁠Outbroadening still yon ocean and these years! 


Edmund Clarence Stedman's other poems:
  1. Sumter
  2. W. W.
  3. The Old Love and the New
  4. Mater Coronata
  5. Wanted—A Man

Poems of another poets with the same name (Стихотворения других поэтов с таким же названием):

  • Thomas Aird (Томас Эрд) Byron ("A sunburst of heaven")
  • Joaquin (Cincinnatus Hiner) Miller (Хоакин (Цинциннат Хайнер) Миллер) Byron ("In men whom men condemn as ill")
  • Lucretia Davidson (Лукреция Дэвидсон) Byron ("His faults were great, his virtues less")

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