Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PRISONER, by SAMUEL VALENTINE COLE

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THE PRISONER, by            
First Line: A lump, they said, from some primeval state
Last Line: Set free by him whose touch may kindle all.
Subject(s): Prisons & Prisoners; Prophecy & Prophets; Socrates (470-399 B.c.); Convicts

A LUMP, they said, from some primeval state:
Dark, rough, and seeming very little worth:
I laid it by an ember in my grate,
And, lo, an "imprisoned splendor" issued forth!

O you who preach, and you who teach, think not
That robe or book will ever win the mark:
If you indeed would stir another's thought,
Lay mind to mind: communicate the spark.

Plato was kindled, when he felt the flame
Of Socrates on his own spirit fall;
From John the fisherman the prophet came,
Set free by Him whose touch may kindle all.

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