|I knew a poet when he was young,
With the star-dust still in his wondering eyes;
I knew a poet who walked among
His fellows, and spoke to them, poet-wise,
Of lovely, mystical, unseen things,
Of far more worth than the wealth of kings.
I knew a poet Fate set aside,
(Like the farthest memory now it seems)
Till his hopes were seared and his faith was tried,
And the moths had been at his cloth o' dreams,
And his heart, burnt out by an inner flame,
Knew well what suffering was, and shame.
I knew a poet. When I am old
And his name is blazed in the world's great place,
And today shall be as a tale long told,
And he has forgotten my very face,
I shall say, with my pride by a memory wrung:
"I knew a poet when he was young!"
The Call of Kansas and Other Poems
Esther M. (Clark) Hill
(Cedar Rapids: Torch Press. __)