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Ballads and Lyrics of Socialism 1883-1908 . Nesbit, E. (Edith), 1858–1924.
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The Star

  • I HAD a star to sing by, a beautiful star that led,
  • But when I sang of its splendour the world in its wisdom said:
  • ‘Sweet are your songs, yet the singer sings but in madness when
  • He hymns but stars unbeholden of us his fellows of men;
page: 29
  • ‘Glow‐worms we see and marshlights; sing us sweet songs of those
  • For the guerdons we have to give you, laurel and gold and rose;
  • Or if you must sing of stars, unseen of your brother man,
  • Go, starve with your eyes on your vision; your star may save if it can!’
  • So I said, ‘If I starve and die I never again shall see
  • The glory, the high white radiance that hallows the world for me;
  • I will sing their songs, if it must be, and when I have golden store,
  • I will turn from the marsh and the glow‐worms, and sing of my star once more.’
  • So I walked in the warm wet by‐ways, not daring to lift my eyes
  • Lest love should drive me to singing my star supreme in the skies,
  • And the world cried out, ‘We will crown him, he sings of the lights that are,
  • Glories of marshlight and glow‐worms, not visions vain of a star!’
  • I said, ‘Now my brows are laurelled, my hands filled full of their gold,
  • I will sing the starry songs that these earthworms bade withhold.
  • It is time to sing of my star!’ for I dreamed that my star still shone,
  • Then I lifted my eyes in my triumph. Night! night! and my star was gone.