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The Ballad of the Quest   By: (1865?-1943)

The Ballad of the Quest by Virna Sheard

First Page:

[Illustration: title page]




The Quest


Virna Sheard

McClelland & Stewart, Ltd.,



Copyright 1922 by


All Rights Reserved


To the sweet memory

of my Mother


We acknowledge with thanks the kindness of Messrs. J. M. Dent & Sons, London, England, for permitting us to use the poems published by them in "The Miracle"; also we thank the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire for permission to use those poems brought out by them in "Carry On."


The Ballad of the Quest A Song of Poppies The Shepherd Wind In Solitude The Slumber Angel At Midnight Dreams A Southern Lullaby When Jonquils Blow Lament The Sea The Cry The Bridge of Dreams The Shells Requiem The Crosses The Lonely Road To One Who Sleeps April Again! Histories Fireflies The Vanished Pathfinders The Call Before the Dawn The Fairy Clock The Temple The Whistler March On Silver Nights The Birth Right A Love Song A Song The Night of all Saints In the Last Year Ships June October Goes The Lily Pond


"Some day," I said, "before Life is over, I will shut my house door, and will be a rover."

Under the sky where the great stars roll, I will search for my faith, and search for my soul.

I have fared without them this many a day Through the market place of the world's high way.

The truth I gave in exchange for a lie, And I bartered my dreams to a passer by.

I have met Delilah, her enchantments I know As the man of strength knew them ages ago.

Fool's gold and fool's joy have been my reaping, And my heart has nothing that's worth the keeping.

But the world is wide and the world is free, And the things I have lost may come back to me.

I will follow the path of the bird that flies, And look for a woman with honest eyes.

If I travel hard, and travel alone, I may overtake Peace, and make it my own.

Only the Sun and the Moon's sweet light Shall mark my day, or measure my night.

Silks and satins and embroidered things, I'll exchange for blossoms and butter flies' wings.

And under a thorn hedge I will dine On a handful of berries, as red as wine.

Or I'll earn my bread on the out bound ships, With the sun in my eyes, and salt on my lips.

And for the softness of beds and pillows, I'll take a hammock that swings with the billows.

It may be the trail will lead me afar To mountain paths, where the wild sheep are.

Or with simple people, and free from guile, I will pitch my tent and will rest awhile.

I am weary of softness and things of ease, And weary of Scribes, and of Pharisees.

On a morning road where the wind is strong, I may learn again to whistle a song.

Down forest paths, or the ways of the sea, My soul and my faith may come back to me.

And always and ever beneath the skies, I will look for a woman with honest eyes.

I will follow no will at all but my own, And the road I take I will take alone.

"Some day," I said, "before Life is over, I will shut my house door, and will be a rover."


But the day when it came was a troubled day, And the road I took was a troubled way.

Then never a will I had of my own, And never a step did I travel alone.

We marched by day, and we marched by night, Through the Sun's hot gold, or the Moon's cool light.

We marched with laughter, we marched with song, Or in dreadful silence we marched along.

The man at my right cursed low at his fate, The man at my left smiled early and late.

And the faces I saw at the edge of day, Were young, young faces, turned old and grey... Continue reading book >>

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