What Is The World To Me?
One loving heart to cherish;
Who ne'er my faithful love will doubt,
Though other faiths may perish?__
For it's a phantom flitting past
That says: No faith nor love shall last.
What is the world to me, when no
Soft lips, with their caressing,
Invite my soul to stay, and go
Not elsewhere for its blessing?__
For it's no phantom of the air
That makes those lips destroy my care
What is the world to me, when those
Bright eyes the fairies lend her,
To light my soul to its repose,
Shine not for me in splendor?__
For 't was a phantom of the mind
That painted Eros young and blind.
What is the world to me, if there
Be not one fond and certain
To veil me with her silken hair,
A soft, disheveled curtain?__
For she's no phantom of the night
Who veils my soul in soft delight.
What is the world to me, although
My praise be world-wide spoken,
Without some one to say, I know
His pledge was never broken?__
For piping phantoms never voice
That praise which makes my heart rejoice.
What is the world to me, with all
Its gilded pomp and pleasure,
Without some dearest one to call
My own, my heart's sweet treasure?
I'll have no phantom in my grasp,
But one soul's wealth of love to clasp!
The Song of Kansas
(Topeka: Crane & Company. 1890)