Poems Comments

To My Readers

NAY, blame me not; I might have spared
Your patience many a trivial verse,
Yet these my earlier welcome shared,
So, let the better shield the worse.

And some might say, 'Those ruder songs
Had freshness which the new have lost;
To spring the opening leaf belongs,
The chestnut-burs await the frost.'

When those I wrote, my locks were brown,
When these I write--ah, well a-day!
The autumn thistle's silvery down
Is not the purple bloom of May.

Go, little book, whose pages hold
Those garnered years in loving trust;
How long before your blue and gold
Shall fade and whiten in the dust?

O sexton of the alcoved tomb,
Where souls in leathern cerements lie,
Tell me each living poet's doom!
How long before his book shall die?

It matters little, soon or late,
A day, a month, a year, an age,--
I read oblivion in its date,
And Finis on its title-page.

Before we sighed, our griefs were told;
Before we smiled, our joys were sung;
And all our passions shaped of old
In accents lost to mortal tongue.

In vain a fresher mould we seek,--
Can all the varied phrases tell
That Babel's wandering children speak
How thrushes sing or lilacs smell?

Caged in the poet's lonely heart,
Love wastes unheard its tenderest tone;
The soul that sings must dwell apart,
Its inward melodies unknown.

Deal gently with us, ye who read
Our largest hope is unfulfilled,--
The promise still outruns the deed,--
The tower, but not the spire, we build.

Our whitest pearl we never find;
Our ripest fruit we never reach;
The flowering moments of the mind
Drop half their petals in our speech.

These are my blossoms; if they wear
One streak of morn or evening's glow,
Accept them; but to me more fair
The buds of song that never blow.



Poem topics: , , , , , , , , ,

Rate this poem:

Add To My Readers poem to your favorites

Add Poet Oliver Wendell Holmes to your favorites

Popular Poets

Corinne Roosevelt Robinson (2 poems)
Drweraga Isma (0 poems)
George Fox (1 poems)
Jorge Luis Borges (0 poems)
Don Marquis (78 poems)
Ralph Hodgson (2 poems)
Shams al-Din Hafiz Shirazi (0 poems)
Thornton W. Burgess (1 poems)
Anthony Evan Hecht (1 poems)
Profnkoma Moos (0 poems)

Popular Poems

Sonnet Iii: Turn To Yon Vale Beneath, by Mary Darby Robinson
Witchcraft: New Style, by Lascelles Abercrombie
The Lost Battle, by Alfred Noyes
Hiding Place, by Henry Livingston Jr.
To Be Written On The Mirror In Whitewash, by Elizabeth Bishop
Lâ??impur Et Fier Epoux, by Andre Marie de Chenier
Lord May I Come?, by Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal
Parisina, by George Gordon Byron
The Forest Reverie, by Edgar Allan Poe
Minuit Chrétiens (Cantique De Noël), by Placide Clappeau