Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VII. Descriptive: Narrative
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VII. Descriptive: Narrative.  1904.
Descriptive Poems: I. Personal: Great Writers
Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833–1908)
                HARP of New England Song,
That even in slumber trembled with the touch
  Of poets who like the four winds from thee waken
All harmonies that to thy strings belong,—
Say, wilt thou blame the younger hands too much        5
  Which from thy laurelled resting place have taken
Thee crowned one in their hold? There is a name
  Should quicken thee! No carol Hawthorne sang,
Yet his articulate spirit, like thine own,
                Made answer, quick as flame,        10
To each breath of the shore from which he sprang,
And prose like his was poesy’s high tone.
*        *        *        *        *
                But he whose quickened eye
Saw through New England’s life her inmost spirit,—
  Her heart, and all the stays on which it leant,—        15
Returns not, since he laid the pencil by
Whose mystic touch none other shall inherit!
  What though its work unfinished lies? Half-bent
The rainbow’s arch fades out in upper air;
  The shining cataract half-way down the height        20
Breaks into mist; the haunting strain, that fell
                On listeners unaware,
Ends incomplete, but through the starry night
The ear still waits for what it did not tell.

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