In Memoriam: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Farewell! The soft mists of the sunset-sky
Slowly enfold his fading birch-canoe!
Farewell! His dark, his desolate forests cry,
Moved to their vast, their sorrowful depths anew.

Fading! Nay, lifted thro' a heaven of light,
His proud sails brightening thro' that crimson flame,
Leaving us lonely on the shores of night,
Home to Ponemah take his deathless fame.

Generous as a child, so wholly free
From all base pride that fools forgot his crown,
He adored Beauty, in pure ecstasy,
And waived the mere rewards of his renown.

The spark that falls from heaven not oft on earth
To human hearts this vital splendour gives;
His was the simple, true, immortal birth.
Scholars compose; but--this man's music lives!

Greater than England or than Earth discerned,
He never paltered with his art for gain:
When many a vaunted crown to dust is turned,
This uncrowned king shall take his throne and reign.

Nations unborn shall hear his forests moan;
Ages unscanned shall hear his winds lament,
Hear the strange grief that deepened through his own
The vast cry of a buried continent.

Through him, his race a moment lifted up
Forests of hands to Beauty as in prayer;
Touched through his lips the sacramental Cup,
And then sank back--benumbed in our bleak air.

Through him, through him, a lost world hailed the light!
The tragedy of that triumph none can tell,--
So great, so brief, so quickly snatched from sight;
And yet--O hail, great comrade, not farewell!
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