Verse > Anthologies > Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. > The Second Book of Modern Verse
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Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. (1869–1948).  The Second Book of Modern Verse.  1922.
 
In Excelsis
 
Thomas S. Jones, Jr.
 
 
SPRING!
And all our valleys turning into green,
Remembering—
As I remember! So my heart turns glad
For so much youth and joy—this to have had        5
When in my veins the tide of living fire
Was at its flow;
This to know,
When now the miracle of young desire
Burns on the hills, and Spring’s sweet choristers again        10
Chant from each tree and every bush aflame
Love’s wondrous name;
This under youth’s glad reign,
With all the valleys turning into green—
This to have heard and seen!        15
 
And Song!
Once to have known what every wakened bird
Has heard;
Once to have entered into that great harmony
Of love’s creation, and to feel        20
The pulsing waves of wonder steal
Through all my being; once to be
In that same sea
Of wakened joy that stirs in every tree
And every bird; and then to sing—        25
To sing aloud the endless Song of Spring!
 
Waiting, I turn to Thee,
Expectant, humble, and on bended knee;
Youth’s radiant fire
Only to burn at Thy unknown desire—        30
For this alone has Song been granted me.
Upon Thy altar burn me at Thy will;
All wonders fill
My cup, and it is Thine;
Life’s precious wine        35
For this alone: for Thee.
Yet never can be paid
The debt long laid
Upon my heart, because my lips did press
In youth’s glad Spring the Cup of Loveliness!        40
 

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