Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
VI. “Were I the Poet Laureate of the Fairies”
By Henry Timrod (1828–1867)
(Written on a small sheet of note-paper upon which a lady had requested the author to indite some verses)

WERE I the Poet Laureate of the Fairies,
Who in a rose-leaf finds too broad a page,
Or could I, like your beautiful canaries,
Sing with free heart and happy, in a cage,
Perhaps I might within this little space        5
(As in some Eastern tale by magic power
A giant is imprisoned in a flower)
Have told you something with a poet’s grace;
But I need wider limits, ampler scope,
A world of freedom for a world of passion,        10
And even then the glory of my hope
Would not be uttered in its stateliest fashion;
Yet, lady! when fit language shall have told it,
You ’ll find one little heart enough to hold it.

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