The Reward Of Song

A poem by Alfred Noyes

Why do we make our music?
Oh, blind dark strings reply:
Because we dwell in a strange land
And remember a lost sky.
We ask no leaf of the laurel,
We know what fame is worth;
But our songs break out of our winter
As the flowers break out on the earth.

And we dream of the unknown comrade,
In the days when we lie dead,
Who shall open our book in the sunlight,
And read, as ourselves have read,
On a lonely hill, by a firwood,
With whispering seas below,
And murmur a song we made him
Ages and ages ago.

If making his may-time sweeter
With dews of our own dead may,
One pulse of our own dead heart-strings
Awake in his heart that day,
We would pray for no richer guerdon,
No praise from the careless throng;
For song is the cry of a lover
In quest of an answering song.

As a child might run to his elders
With news of an opening flower
We should walk with our young companion
And talk to his heart for an hour,
As once by my own green firwood,
And once by a Western sea,
Thank God, my own good comrades
Have walked and talked with me.

Too mighty to make men sorrow,
Too weak to heal their pain
(Though they that remember the hawthorn
May find their heaven again),
We are moved by a deeper hunger;
We are bound by a stronger cord;
For love is the heart of our music,
And love is its one reward.

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