Augustin S. Macdonald, comp. A Collection of Verse by California Poets. 1914.

By Richard Realf


FAIR are the flowers and the children, but their subtle suggestion is fairer;

Rare is the roseburst of dawn, but the secret that clasps it is rarer;

Sweet the exultance of song, but the strain that precedes it is sweeter;

And never was poem yet writ, but the meaning outmastered the meter.

Never a daisy that grows, but a mystery guideth the growing;

Never a river that flows, but a majesty scepters the flowing;

Never a Shakespeare that soared, but a stronger than he did enfold him,

Nor ever a prophet foretells, but a mightier seer hath foretold him.

Back of the canvas that throbs the painter is hinted and hidden;

Into the statue that breathes the soul of the sculptor is bidden;

Under the joy that is felt lie the infinite issues of feeling;

Crowning the glory revealed is the glory that crowns the revealing.

Great are the symbols of being, but that which is symboled is greater;

Vast the create and beheld, but vaster the inward creator;

Back of the sound broods the silence, back of the gift stands the giving;

Back of the hand that receives thrill the sensitive nerves of receiving.

Space is as nothing to spirit, the deed is outdone by the doing;

The heart of the wooer is warm, but warmer the heart of the wooing;

And up from the pits where these shiver, and up from the heights where those shine,

Twin voices and shadows swim starward, and the essence of life is divine.