William Bell Scott

(1811-1890 / Scotland)

Shelley - Poem by William Bell Scott

The three words yet to dominate
This world with peace and love elate,
We rede upon the ruined wall Palatial,
Once the witless Bourbon's pride,
Words written large from side to side;
And on the pavement where we stood
Lay fratricidal blood.
What wonder then eyes fixed so far,—
Faith and to-day so coiled in war,—
Directest steps may go amiss?
Inspiréd speech be vague as his?

Yet shall these three words be one day,
Our full-grown manhood's rondelay,
The sensitive plant shall surely grow
Beside the myrtle and the bay,
When we with him have passed away,
And shall not know.

That reason-born millennium,
He thought so near, shall surely come,
Shall come when days have longer grown,
And nights are longer too,
When bread from richer tilth is mown,
And all our powers are born anew:
Millions of years far off, may be,
Eons of ages, it shall come,
But then the Poet men may see
Shall throw all our poetics dumb.
For then, as now, the poet's lyre
Must shine with light as well as fire;
And he sings best whose clear plain song
Beats with our hearts and makes us strong.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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