Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
423. The Poet’s Secret
 
By Elizabeth Stoddard
 
 
THE POET’S secret I must know,
  If that will calm my restless mind.
I hail the seasons as they go,
  I woo the sunshine, brave the wind.
 
I scan the lily and the rose,        5
  I nod to every nodding tree,
I follow every stream that flows,
  And wait beside the steadfast sea.
 
I question melancholy eyes,
  I touch the lips of women fair:        10
Their lips and eyes may make me wise,
  But what I seek for is not there.
 
In vain I watch the day and night,
  In vain the world through space may roll;
I never see the mystic light        15
  Which fills the poet’s happy soul.
 
Through life I hear the rhythmic flow
  Whose meaning into song must turn;
Revealing all he longs to know,
  The secret each alone must learn.        20
 

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