Verse > Anthologies > Higginson and Bigelow, eds. > American Sonnets
Higginson and Bigelow, comps.  American Sonnets.  1891.
The Succession
By Frances Laughton Mace (1836–1899)
AS one by one the singers of our land,
  Summoned away by death’s unfailing dart,
  Unto the greater mystery depart,
Sadly we watch them from the desolate strand.
Oh! who shall fill their places in the band        5
  Of tuneful voices? Who with equal art
  Speak the unwritten language of the heart,
And the mute signs of Nature understand?
Yet poetry from earth has never ceased;
  It is a fire perpetual, which has caught        10
  Its flame from off the altar-place of Heaven.
Never has failed, in darkest days, a priest
  Who, by no price of gain or glory bought,
  For his soul’s peace his life to song has given.

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