Treasure Island

Richard Le Gallienne

(1866-1947 / England)

A Song of Singers


Singers all along the street,
Singing every kind of song-
One man's song is honey-sweet,
One man's song is hammer-strong;
Yet, however sweet the singing,
However strong the hammer-swinging,-
All the bees are round that honey
Which the vulgar world calls money.

Singers all along the street-
One sings Love and one sings Death,
Roses sings one and little feet,
And one sings wine with fevered breath;
Yet all the bees are round that honey
Which the vulgar world calls money.

Singers singing down the street,
I believe there is a song,
Could you sing it, that would beat
All the sweet and all the strong;
Just a simple song of pity,
'Mid the iron of the city.

Singers all the street along,
There is still another song
All the world is waiting, breathless,
Just to hear some poet singing,
Song of something gay and deathless
'Mid the grinding dark endeavour
That goes on and on for ever,
Something more than mere words bringing,

Something more than butterflies,
Or the sugared ancient lies,
Something with the ring of truth,
And the majesty of youth,
Something singing 'all is well'
In the blackest pit of hell!

O we are so tired of birds,
Of rainbows and the love-sick words!
Sing us but some manly tune,
(Leaving out the rising moon)
Sing the song of Hope Eternal
In the face of Facts Infernal,
And make your singing somehow prove it-
Faith so firm no doubt can move it-
Then the bees will leave the honey
Which the vulgar world calls money.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010
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