Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
 
IV. Comfort and Cheer
The Song of the Savoyards
Henry Ames Blood (1836–1900)
 
FAR poured past Broadway’s lamps alight,
  The tumult of her motley throng,
When high and clear upon the night
  Rose an inspiring song,
And rang above the city’s din        5
To sound of harp and violin;
  A simple but a manly strain,
  And ending with the brave refrain—
Courage! courage, mon camarade!
 
And now where rose that song of cheer,        10
  Both old and young stood still for joy;
Or from the windows hung to hear
  The children of Savoy:
And many an eye with rapture glowed,
And saddest hearts forgot their load,        15
  And feeble souls grew strong again,
  So stirring was the brave refrain—
Courage! courage, mon camarade!
 
Alone, with only silence there,
  Awaiting his life’s welcome close,        20
A sick man lay, when on the air
  That clarion arose;
So sweet the thrilling cadence rang,
It seemed to him an angel sang,
  And sang to him; and he would fain        25
  Have died upon that heavenly strain—
Courage! courage, mon camarade!
 
A sorrow-stricken man and wife,
  With nothing left them but to pray,
Heard streaming over their sad life        30
  That grand, heroic lay:
And through the mist of happy tears
They saw the promise-laden years;
  And in their joy they sang again,
  And carolled high the fond refrain—        35
Courage! courage, mon camarade!
 
Two artists, in the cloud of gloom
  Which hung upon their hopes deferred,
Resounding through their garret-room
  That noble chanson heard;        40
And as the night before the day
Their weak misgivings fled away;
  And with the burden of the strain
  They made their studio ring again—
Courage! courage, mon camarade!        45
 
Two poets, who in patience wrought
  The glory of an aftertime,—
Lords of an age which knew them not,
  Heard rise that lofty rhyme;
And on their hearts it fell, as falls        50
The sunshine upon prison-walls;
  And one caught up the magic strain
  And to the other sang again—
Courage! courage, mon camarade!
 
And unto one, who, tired of breath,        55
  And day and night and name and fame,
Held to his lips a glass of death,
  That song a savior came;
Beseeching him from his despair,
As with the passion of a prayer;        60
  And kindling in his heart and brain
  The valor of its blest refrain—
Courage! courage, mon camarade!
 
O thou, with earthly ills beset,
  Call to thy lips those words of joy,        65
And never in thy life forget
  The brave song of Savoy!
For those dear words may have the power
To cheer thee in thy darkest hour;
  The memory of that loved refrain        70
  Bring gladness to thy heart again!—
Courage! courage, mon camarade!
 
 
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