Richard Watson Gilder

A poem by Richard Le Gallienne

(Obiit Nov. 18, 1909)

America grows poorer day by day -
Richer and richer, I have heard some say:
They thought of a poor wealth I do not heed -
For, one by one, the men who dreamed the dream
That was America, and is now no more,
Have gone in flame through that mysterious door,
And scarcely one remains, in all our need.

The dream goes with the dreamer - ah! beware,
Country of facile silver and of gold,
To slight the gentle strength of a pure prayer;
America, all made out of a dream -
A dream of good men in the days of old;
What if the dream should fade and none remain
To tell your children the old dream again!

Therefore, with laurel and with tears and rue,
Stand by his grave this sad November day,
Sadder that he untimely goes away,
Who sang and wrought so well for that high dream
We call America - the world made new,
New with clean hope and faith and purpose true.

Gilder, your name, with each return of Spring,
Shall write itself in the soft April flowers,
And, when you hear the murmur of bright showers
Over your sleep, and little lives that sing
Come back once more, know that the rainbowed rain
Is but our tears, saying: "Come back again."

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