Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
617. Voice
 
By Harriet Prescott Spofford
 
 
SAID the archangels, moving in their glory,
  Seeing the suns bend out along their courses,
    Seeing the earth swim up in vernal light,
Seeing the year renew her ancient story,—
  Ask we here the Lord of all the finer forces        5
    To make us now a poet whose song shall reach our height!
 
Fain would we know the impulse ever fleeing,
  Fleeing in light o’er the battlements of even,
    Fleeing in love that lifts the universe like wings;
Fain would we know the secret of our being,        10
  Blush for a moment with the inmost joy of heaven—
    Make us then a poet whose song shall tell these things!
 
From his rosy cloud, a Voice,—O wonder!
  All my harp-strings tremble to sweet singing!
    Life, O lovely life, is at the flood!        15
Hear the torrents’ far melodious thunder,
  Hear the winds’ long sweep, the joyous thickets ringing,
    Forests bow and murmur, and blossoms burst their bud!
 
Israfel, the Voice, was warbling,—Follow
  Where the wild swift music winds and doubles!        20
    Follow! When the sap whirls longing for the light,
When the first thrush thrills the dusky hollow,
  Every heart on earth with jocund spirit bubbles,
    And every soul’s a poet whose song surmounts our height!
 

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