Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DICKENS, by PHOEBE CARY

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DICKENS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: One story more,' the whole world cried
Last Line: That dawned upon his waking eyes!
Subject(s): Dickens, Charles (1812-1870)

"ONE story more," the whole world cried.
The great magician smiled in doubt:
"I am so tired that, if I tried,
I fear I could not tell it out."

"But one is all we ask," they said;
"You surely cannot faint nor fail."
Again he raised his weary head,
And slow began the witching tale.

The fierce debater's tongue grew mute,
Wise men were silent for his sake;
The poet threw aside his lute,
And paused enraptured while he spake.

The proudest lady in the land
Forgot that praise and power were sweet;
She dropped the jewels from her hand,
And sat enchanted at his feet.

Lovers, with clasped hands lightly prest,
Saw Hope's sweet blossoms bud and bloom;
Men, hastening to their final rest,
Stopped, half-enraptured with the tomb.

Children, with locks of brown and gold,
Gathered about like flocks of birds;
The poor, whose story he had told,
Drew near and loved him for his words.

His eye burns bright, his voice is strong,
A waiting people eager stands;
Men on the outskirts of the throng
Interpret him to distant lands.

When lo! his accents, faltering, fall;
The nations, awe-struck, hold their breath;
The great magician, loved of all,
Has sunk to slumber, tired to death!

His human eyes in blind eclipse
Are from the world forever sealed;
The "mystery" trembling on his lips
Shall never, never be revealed.

Yet who would miss that tale half told,
Though weird and strange, or sweet and true;
Who care to listen to the old,
If he could hear the strange and new?

Alas! alas! it cannot be;
We too must sleep and change and rise,
To learn the eternal mystery
That dawned upon his waking eyes!

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