Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MY PROLOGUE, by BAYARD TAYLOR



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

MY PROLOGUE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: If heat of youth, 'tis heat suppressed
Last Line: It well may be; and they that read will know.
Alternate Author Name(s): Taylor, James Bayard
Subject(s): Dreams; Life; Praise; Youth; Nightmares


I.

IF heat of youth, 't is heat suppressed
That fills my breast:
The childhood of a voiceless lyre
Preserves my fire.
I chanted not while I was young;
But ere age chill, I liberate my tongue!

II.

Apart from stormy ways of men,
Maine's loneliest glen
Held me as banished, and unheard
I saved my word:
I would not know the bitter taste
Of the crude fame which falls to them that haste.

III.

On each impatient year I tossed
A holocaust
Of effort, ashes ere it burned,
And justly spurned.
If now I own maturer days,
I know not: dust to me is passing praise.

IV.

But out of life arises song,
Clear, vital, strong, --
The speech men pray for when they pine,
The speech divine
No other can interpret: grand
And permanent as time and race and land.

V.

I dreamed I spake it: do I dream,
In pride supreme,
Or, like late lovers, found the bride
Their youth denied,
Is this my stinted passion's flow?
It well may be; and they that read will know.





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