Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
III. To Fame
By George Powell Thomas
O FAME! what art thou?—Who can know, alas!
  His claim to any share in thee or thine,
  Till he has passed that dim and awful line,
  Which no man ever passed or e’er shall pass,
Prizing thy gifts! Rare beings still amass        5
  Treasures that after-ages count divine;
  Yet ere they pass from earth, thou giv’st no sign
  That they in memory shall outlive the mass.
How oft, in life, they pine for very bread,
  While wordy critics smirch their lays with blots;        10
  How oft above each unremembered head,
Year after year, the dock or hemlock rots;
  And then thou nam’st their love, or woe, or mirth;
  And towns that let them die boast that they gave them birth.

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