A poet wandered the city street,
With tattered garments, and aching feet;
Want and hunger had dimmed his eye,
And the children jeered him, as he passed by.
But one of the children sang, at play,
A song his mother had sung that day.
The poet listened, with cheeks aflame,
For the song was his own, and this was fame!
But his heart was lightened. The song of the boy
Had thrilled the strings, with a strange, sweet joy.
"Though I may lie with the nameless dead,
The songs I have written will live," he said.
Shells by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.
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