Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
V. A Discovery
By Menella Bute Smedley (1820–1877)
THE LANGUID world went by me as I found
          A jewel on the ground,
          Under a silent weed,
A nameless glory set for none to heed.
“Stoop, see, and wonder!” was my joyful cry,        5
But still the languid world went only by.
I drew it forth, and set it on a hill;
          They passed it still.
          Some turned to look,
And said it was a pebble from the brook,        10
A dewdrop, only made to melt away,
A worthless mirror, with a bordered ray.
Then on my knees I shouted forth its praise,
          For nights and days.
          “See with your eyes        15
A diamond shining only for the wise!
How is it that you love not at first sight,
This unfamiliar treasure of pure light?”
I set it on my breast. Then, with a sneer,
          The world drew near,        20
          They knew the sign
And secret of my praise; the thing was mine.
They left it to me with a bland disdain,
And hugged their tinsel to their hearts again.
I showed it to the dearest soul I had:        25
          “You are not mad;
          Let them go by;
We know it is a diamond, you and I.”
Coldly he answered, “If you love it so,
You need not me to praise it. Let me go.”        30
“It is my sin,” I cried with bitter tears,
          “That no man hears.
          I’ll fling it down;
Some nobler hand shall set it in a crown.
I shall behold it honoured ere I die;        35
But no one could have loved it more than I!

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