Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HEROES, by RICHARD EUGENE BURTON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

HEROES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Mother, I read of heroes, kings
Last Line: "nor heroes, when they drew so near."
Subject(s): Courts & Courtiers; Heroism; Saints; Royal Court Life; Royalty; Kings; Queens; Heroes; Heroines

"MOTHER, I read of heroes, kings,
Of folk with trappings, folk with wings;
Where live they, will they ever come
To see me in my little home?
Are there such beings, fair and wise,
And have they feet and hands and eyes?"

"My child, you saw but yesterday
A hero: when he came this way
You gave him scarce a single glance;
He wore no crown, he bore no lance,
He seemed but made of common clay.

"And just an hour ago, there stood
Before you -- Oh, so great and good!
One who will sit with God for aye,
When the brief years are rolled away."

"But, mother, in the books I read
They walk with kings, they do indeed;
How could they come and go, and I
Not know that they were passing by?"

"The tales are true, my dear, there be
Kings, heroes, saints, in history;
Romance and legend fitly tell
Of what they did, and what their spell;
Their deeds are bright like burnished gold,
In chronicles and records old."

"How could I miss their being here?"

"They did not seem like saints, my dear,
Nor heroes, when they drew so near."

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