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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

The Poet

By Joel Benton (1832–1911)

[Born in Amenia, N. Y., 1832. Died in Poughkeepsie, N. Y., 1911.]

THE POET’S words are winged with fire,

Forever young is his desire,—

Touched by some charm the gods impart,

Time “writes no wrinkle” on his heart.

The messenger and priest of truth,

His thought breathes of immortal youth;

Though summer hours are far away,

Mid-summer haunts him day by day.

The harsh fates do not chill his soul,—

For him all streams of splendor roll;

Sweet hints come to him from the sky,—

Birds teach him wisdom as they fly.

He gathers good in all he meets,

The fields pour out for him their sweets;

Life is excess: one sunset’s glow

Gives him a bliss no others know.

Beauty to him is Paradise—

He never tires of lustrous eyes;

Quaffing his joy, the world apart,

Love lives and summers in his heart.

His lands are never bought and sold—

His wealth is more to him than gold:

On the green hills, when life is done,

He sleeps like fair Endymion.