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Poem by Stephen Vincent Benet

A Minor Poet

I am a shell. From me you shall not hear 
The splendid tramplings of insistent drums, 
The orbed gold of the violТs voice that comes, 
Heavy with radiance, languorous and clear. 
Yet, if you hold me close against the ear, 
A dim, far whisper rises clamorously, 
The thunderous beat and passion of the sea, 
The slow surge of the tides that drown the mere. 

Others with subtle hands may pluck the strings, 
Making even Love in music audible, 
And earth one glory. I am but a shell 
That moves, not of itself, and moving sings; 
Leaving a fragrance, faint as wine new-shed, 
A tremulous murmur from great days long dead.

Stephen Vincent Benet

Stephen Vincent Benet's other poems:
  1. The City Revisited
  2. Nightmare Number Three
  3. Rain after a Vaudeville Show
  4. The Congressmen Came out to See Bull Run
  5. Before an Examination

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Amy Levy A Minor Poet ("Here is the phial; here I turn the key")

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