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The Coast of Bohemia   By: (1853-1922)

Book cover

First Page:

THE COAST OF BOHEMIA

BY

THOMAS NELSON PAGE

NEW YORK

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

1906

Copyright, 1888, 1906, by

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

THE DE VINNE PRESS

PREFACE

One who after writing prose all his life suddenly essays to launch a volume of verse, must know something of the feeling with which an old time sailor after coasting only his native shores found himself setting sail into an unknown sea.

The author of this little volume knows quite as well as the most experienced mariner the temerity of sailing an untried main in so frail a bark. But he is willing, if the Fates so decree, to go down with the unnumbered sail of that great fleet which have throughout the ages faced the wide ocean of oblivion, merely for the thrill of being for a brief space on its vast waters.

Since Horace, secure in the double endowment of genius and of an Emperor's favor, wrote scornfully how hated of gods and men was middling verse, no one has ever doubted the fact perhaps, not even one of all the myriads who have dared to brave that bitter scorn. The explanation then for the production of so much of the despised matter must be that there is for the minor poet also a music that the outer world does not catch an inner day which the outer world does not see. It is this music, this light which, for the most part, is for the lesser poet his only reward. That he has heard, however brokenly, and at however vast a distance, snatches of those strains which thrilled the souls of Marlowe and Milton and Keats and Shelley, even though he may never reproduce one of them, is moreover a sufficiently high reward.

T. N. P.

Most of the poems in the following pages, with the exception of those in dialect, are now published for the first time.

CONTENTS

POEMS

DEDICATION THE COAST OF BOHEMIA THE VOICE OF THE SEA LONG ROLL AT NAPOLEON'S TOMB THE PRINCESS' PROGRESS YOUTH AMERICA: GREETING DAWN THE POET ON AGRADINA THE SHEPHERD OF THE SEAS SLEEP TO A LADY AT A SPRING UNFORGOTTEN THE OLD LION THE DRAGON OF THE SEAS THE BENT MONK THE MESSAGE THE NEEDLE'S EYE THE CLOSED DOOR CONVENTION THE MAGDALEN THE REQUIREMENT THE LISTENER CONTRADICTION THE QUESTION OUR DEAD MY MOTHER HER INFLUENCE MATTHEW ARNOLD THE STRANGER LOVE AN OLD REFRAIN TO CLAUDIA THE APPLE TREES AT EVEN MY TRUE LOVE'S WEALTH A VALENTINE A PORTRAIT F√ČLICE LOVE SONG THE HARBOUR LIGHT FADED SPRAY OF MIGNONETTE LOST ROSES DE NAME OF OLE VIRGINIA THE DANCER THE APRIL FACE COME BACK TO US, DAVIE THE WITCH HUMANITY ASPIRATION REALITY LITTLE DOLLY DIMPLE A VALENTINE

DIALECT POEMS (FROM "BEFO' DE WAR")

UNCLE GABE'S WHITE FOLKS LITTLE JACK ASHCAKE ZEKYL'S INFIDELITY MARSE PHIL ONE MOURNER

THE COAST OF BOHEMIA

.... "Few, few are they: Perchance, among a thousand, one Thou shouldest find, for whom the sun Of Poesy makes an inner day." The Medea of Euripides Way's Translation.

DEDICATION

TO F. L. P.

As one who wanders in a lonely land, Through all the blackness of a stormy night, Now stumbling here, now falling there outright, And doubts if it be worse to stir or stand, Not knowing what abysses yawn at hand, What torrents roar beyond some beetling height; Yet scales the top to find the dawn in sight, And Earth kissed into radiance with its wand: So, wandering hopeless in the darkness, I, Scarce recking whither led my painful way, Or whether I should faint or strive to prove If 'yond the mountain top some path might lie, Climbed boldly up the steep, and lo! the Day Broke into pearl and splendor in thy love.

THE COAST OF BOHEMIA

There is a land not charted on all charts; Though many mariners have touched its coast, Who far adventuring in those distant parts, Meet ship wreck there and are forever lost; Or if they e'er return, are soon once more Borne far away by hunger for that magic shore... Continue reading book >>




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