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A Poet sang so wondrous sweet
That toiling thousands paused and listened long;
So lofty, strong and noble were his themes,
It seemed that strength supernal swayed his song.

He, god-like, chided poor, weak, weeping man,
And bade him dry his foolish, shameful tears;
Taught that each soul on its proud self should lean,
And from that rampart scorn all earth-born fears.

The Poet grovelled on a fresh heaped mound,
Raised o'er the clay of one he'd fondly loved;
And cursed the world, and drenched the sod with tears
And all the flimsy mockery of his precepts proved.

O Henry

Short Stories