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English Poetry. Edmund Clarence Stedman. Ad Vatem. Эдмунд Кларенс Стедман.






Edmund Clarence Stedman (Эдмунд Кларенс Стедман)

Ad Vatem

Whittier! the Land that loves thee, she whose child
Thou art,—and whose uplifted hands thou long
Hast stayed with song availing like a prayer,—
She feels a sudden pang, who gave thee birth
And gave to thee the lineaments supreme
Of her own freedom, that she could not make
Thy tissues all immortal, or, if to change,
To bloom through years coeval with her own;
So that no touch of age nor frost of time
Should wither thee, nor furrow thy dear face,
Nor fleck thy hair with silver. Ay, she feels
A double pang that thee, with each new year,
Glad Youth may not revisit, like the Spring
That routs her northern Winter and anew
Melts off the hoar snow from her puissant hills.
She could not make thee deathless; no, but thou,
Thou sangest her always in abiding verse
And hast thy fame immortal—as we say
Immortal in this Earth that yet must die,
And in this land now fairest and most young
Of all fair lands that yet must perish with it.
Thy words shall last: albeit thou growest old,
Men say; but never old the poet's soul
Becomes; only its covering takes on
A reverend splendor, as in the misty fall
Thine own auroral forests, ere at last
Passes the spirit of the wooded dell.
And stay thou with us long; vouchsafe us long
This brave autumnal presence, ere the hues
Slow fading,—ere the quaver of thy voice,
The twilight of thine eye, move men to ask
Where hides the chariot,—in what sunset vale,
Beyond thy chosen river, champ the steeds
That wait to bear thee skyward? Since we too
Would feign thee, in our tenderness, to be
Inviolate, excepted from thy kind,
And that our bard and prophet best-beloved
Shall vanish like that other: him that stood
Undaunted in the pleasure-house of kings,
And unto kings and crownèd harlots spake
God's truth and judgment. At his sacred feet
Far followed all the lesser men of old
Whose lips were touched with fire, and caught from him
The gift of prophecy; and thus from thee,
Whittier, the younger singers,—whom thou seest
Each emulous to be thy staff this day,—
What learned they? righteous anger, burning scorn
Of the oppressor, love to humankind,
Sweet fealty to country and to home,
Peace, stainless purity, high thoughts of heaven,
And the clear, natural music of thy song.

Edmund Clarence Stedman’s other poems:

  1. Cousin Lucrece
  2. Ariel
  3. Sumter
  4. Fuit Ilium
  5. Bohemia




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