Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1226. On Reading a Poet’s First Book
 
By Henry Cuyler Bunner
 
 
THIS is a breath of summer wind
  That comes—we know not how—that goes
As softly,—leaving us behind,
  Pleased with a smell of vine and rose.
 
Poet, shall this be all thy word?        5
  Blow on us with a bolder breeze,
Until we rise, as having heard
  The sob, the song of far-off seas.
 
Blow in thy shell until thou draw,
  From inner whorls where still they sleep,        10
The notes unguessed of love and awe,
  And all thy song grow full and deep.
 
Feeble may be the scanty phrase,—
  Thy dream a dream tongue never spake,—
Yet shall thy note, through doubtful days,        15
  Swell stronger for Endeavor’s sake.
 
As Jacob, wrestling through the night,
  Felt all his muscles strengthen fast
With wakening strength, and met the light
  Blessed and strong, though overcast.        20
 

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