Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CONTRAST, by GEORGE DOUGLAS HOWARD COLE

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CONTRAST, by            
First Line: Down the street, in a crowd
Last Line: For this man with the heart of a boy.
Alternate Author Name(s): Cole, G. D. H.
Subject(s): Oxford University

DOWN the street, in a crowd,
I hear one singing
A strong, sweet song,
Singing loud, singing long,
As a bold bird flinging
Glad notes to the sky --
Notes that I
Past my window catch flowing,
No one knowing.

Revellers devout,
Rebel rout,
Ye who worship your god in the mad drinking bout,
Why come ye this way?
Glad singer, thou spendest thy breath
Where to-day
Dwelleth sorrow
And to-morrow
Shall be death.

One here lieth dying
That was even as ye,
One that caught pleasure flying,
One that knew not regret.
He was young, he was free
As the wind, as the sea,
Upon joy being set,
High or low, near or far,
He would follow his star.

Even now in his weak body flickers
The high heart, adventurous and bold;
Yet the hot spirit bickers
With the flesh growing cold.
Though he fail in the night,
And forget all delight,
He shall cease; but he groweth not old.

O sons of all joy,
And thou, singer, whose voice is the voice of a boy,
When the last word is said
O'er him dead,
And the earth covers over
All that's left of this lover,
Thy song shall be sweetest,
Thy requiem meetest
For this son of all joy,
For this man with the heart of a boy.

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