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COMBINATIONS OF VERSES.                  97
Than those who are degraded by the jars
Of passion, and their frailties linked to fame, Conquerors of high renown, but full of scars.
Many are the poets, but without the name ; For what is poesy but to create
From overfeeling good or ill, and aim At an eternal life beyond our fate,
And be the new Prometheus of new men, Bestowing fire from heaven, and then too late
Feeling the pleasure given repaid with pain, And vultures to the heart of the bestower,
Who, having lavished his high gift in vain, Lies chained to his bare rock by the seashore.
There was a youth, who, as with toil and travel, Had grown quite weak and grey before his time ; Nor any could the restless griefs unravel
Which burned within him, withering up his prime And goading him, like fiends, from land to land. Not his the load of any secret crime,
For nought of ill his heart could understand, But pity and wild sorrow for the same;— Not his the thirst for glory or command
Baffled with blast of hope-consuming shame; Nor evil joys which fire the vulgar breast And quench in speedy smoke its feeble flame,
Had left within his soul their dark unrest: Nor what religion fables of the grave Feared he,—Philosophy's accepted guest.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III