Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

A Book of Sonnets

The Poets

O YE dead Poets, who are living still

Immortal in your verse, though life be fled,

And ye, O living Poets, who are dead

Though ye are living, if neglect can kill,

Tell me if in the darkest hours of ill,

With drops of anguish falling fast and red

From the sharp crown of thorns upon your head,

Ye were not glad your errand to fulfil?

Yes; for the gift and ministry of Song

Have something in them so divinely sweet,

It can assuage the bitterness of wrong;

Not in the clamor of the crowded street,

Not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng,

But in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.