Lost, these words, at what a cost: cast
like boats afloat on seas that seize
the moment of their brave conception.
No man can tell what wave will carry,
what rock may tarry their eventful reception,
least of all he who released them on
their free and lovely, dangerous voyage.
Some of them might sink without trace,
some might think. Some might turn their face
against them as they beach. Some might race
to take them up before they slide beyond reach.
Some might deride them. Each
stands a chance, as it takes its chance
on the dancing waters over shifting sands.
Each invites spiteful slights at the hands
of those who only amble there.
Some preamble writes the page,
of which he should beware, but it is just a stage
and scenes may shift. Lift up your heart
on wings of larksong flying, even though your part
is already dying. More sense is there,
than they can know, in trying,
and the sighing will be theirs to bear.
Look on his works, ye mighty, and despair.