Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VI. Fancy: Sentiment
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VI. Fancy.  1904.
 
Poems of Sentiment: IV. Thought: Poetry: Books
The Poet’s Impulse
Lord Byron (1788–1824)
 
From “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage,” Canto III.

  SKY, mountains, river, winds, lake, lightnings! ye
  With night, and clouds, and thunder, and a soul
  To make these felt and feeling, well may be
  Things that have made me watchful; the far roll
  Of your departing voices is the knoll        5
  Of what in me is sleepless,—if I rest.
  But where of ye, O tempests! is the goal?
  Are ye like those within the human breast?
Or do ye find, at length, like eagles, some high nest?
 
  Could I embody and unbosom now        10
  That which is most within me,—could I wreak
  My thoughts upon expression, and thus throw
  Soul, heart, mind, passions, feelings, strong or weak,
  All that I would have sought, and all I seek,
  Bear, know, feel, and yet breathe—into one word,        15
  And that one word were Lightning, I would speak;
  But as it is, I live and die unheard,
With a most voiceless thought, sheathing it as a sword.
 
 
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