Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  Song of the Seeds

Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Song of the Seeds

By Florence Smith (1845–1871)

[Born in New York, N. Y., 1794. Died in Fort Washington, N. Y., 1849.]

’TIS so dark, so dark here under the ground!

We reach and we struggle, we know not where;

We long for something we have not found,

We seek and we find not, but cannot despair.

It is warm and sweet here under the earth,

And so peaceful too—why cannot we stay?

What is this change that is named a birth?

And what is that wonderful thing called Day?

But a power is on us: we may not wait;

Within us we feel it struggle and thrill,

While upward we reach to find our fate,

And this ceaseless, mysterious want to fulfil.

They say that at last we shall reach the Air—

Will breathing be freedom, and Light be Life?

What mystic change shall we meet with there

When the blossom shall crown this mute, strange strife?

So, ending answerless, the song is done—

The song so oft upon the earth begun,

Whose closing and triumphant harmonies

Shall ne’er be sounded but beyond the skies.

From the Memorial Volume, edited by H. W. Bellows. 1872.