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    ASPIRATION   Table of Contents     A MEMORY

Menken, Adah Isaacs




Sounding through the silent dimness
Where I Saint and weary lay,
Spate a poet: ' I will lead thee
To the land of song to-day.'"


O Bards! weak heritors of passion and of pain!
Dwellers in the shadowy Palace of Dreams!
With your unmated souls flying insanely at the stars!
Why have you led me lonely and desolate to the
deathless Hill of Song?
You promised that I should ring tracing shivers of
rapt melody down to the dumb earth.
You promised that its echoes should vibrate till Time's
circles met in old Eternity.
You promised that I should gather the stars like
blossoms to my white bosom.
You promised that I should create a new moon of

YOU promised that wild wings of my soul should
shimmer through the dusky locks of the clouds, like
burning arrows, down into the deep heart of the dim

But, O Bards! sentinels on the Lonely Hill, why breaks
there yet no day to me?


O lonely watchers for the Light! how long must I grope
with my dead eyes in the sand?
Only the red fire of Genius, that narrows up life's
chances to the black path that crawls on to the dizzy
The wailing music that spreads its pinions to the
tremble of the wind, has crumbled of to silence.
From the steep ideal the quivering soul falls in its
lonely sorrow like an unmated star horn the blue heights
of Heaven into the dark sea.
O Genius! is this thy promise?
O Bards! is this all?

    ASPIRATION   Table of Contents     A MEMORY