I weave my verses of smiles and tears,
Gathered and shed for you,
I bind them up in the hopes of years,
Dear, will you read them through?

I write my ballads of joy and pain,
Cast at your heedless feet,
I set the words to a lost refrain,
Sing it but once, my Sweet!

I breathe my life into rhyme and song,
What shall I gain thereby?
The verse is poor, and the tune is wrong,
Kiss them and let them die.

If I should pray, my prayer would be
For gratitude unlimited :
For gratitude so vast and deep,
That it would move my soul to weep
Great tears, and all the words I said
To be as organ notes sublime,
FuU-throati d flowing words of rhyme,
Whose like no mortal eye hath read.

Then would I kneel before the God
Whose matchless genius made the earth ;
The Poet-God, who sows the hours
With all the scented hosts of flowers.
Who gives the little winds their birth,
Who doth unloose the sea-song's might
To shake the very stars at night.
And fling the foam-flakes high in mirth.

Whose mind is fragrant as a grove
Of cedar trees in summer rain,
Whose thoughts dead poets gathered up,
And poured within the brimming cup
They offered to the world in vain.
Whose whisper masters caught, and wrote
Into their music note by note,
Immortal, haunting, strain on strain.

Whose image is revealed to all
Great lovers in the loved one's face.
Whose passion mystical and deep
Kindles the holy fires that sleep
Within the heart's most secret place.
Whose breath is incense on the shrine
Of earthly love, burning divine
And changeless, through all time and space !