The poet's heart is a fatal boon,
And fatal his wondrous eye,
And the delicate ear,
So quick to hear,
Over the earth and sky,
Creation's mystic tune!
Soon, soon, but not too soon,
Does that ear grow deaf and that eye grow dim,
And nature becometh a waste for him,
Whom, born for another sphere,
Misery hath shipwrecked here!
For what availeth his sensitive heart
For the struggle and stormy strife
That the mariner-man,
Since the world began
Has braved on the sea of life?
With fearful wonder his eye doth start,
When it should be fixed on the outspread chart
That pointeth the way to golden shores--
Rent are his sails and broken his oars,
And he sinks without hope or plan,
With his floating caravan.
And love, that should be his strength and stay,
Becometh his bane full soon,
Like flowers that are born
Of the beams at morn,
But die of their heat ere noon.
Far better the heart were the sterile clay
Where the shining sands of the desert play,
And where never the perishing flow'ret gleams
Than the heart that is fed with its wither'd dreams,
And whose love is repelled with scorn,
Like the bee by the rose's thorn.