Verse > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow > Complete Poetical Works
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882).  Complete Poetical Works.  1893.
Ultima Thule
The Poet and his Songs
AS the birds come in the Spring,
  We know not from where;
As the stars come at evening
  From depths of the air;
As the rain comes from the cloud,        5
  And the brook from the ground;
As suddenly, low or loud,
  Out of silence a sound;
As the grape comes to the vine,
  The fruit to the tree;        10
As the wind comes to the pine,
  And the tide to the sea;
As come the white sails of ships
  O’er the ocean’s verge;
As comes the smile to the lips,        15
  The foam to the surge;
So come to the Poet his songs,
  All hitherward blown
From the misty realm, that belongs
  To the vast Unknown.        20
His, and not his, are the lays
  He sings; and their fame
Is his, and not his; and the praise
  And the pride of a name.
For voices pursue him by day,        25
  And haunt him by night,
And he listens, and needs must obey,
  When the Angel says, “Write!”
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