The Pearl

How long shall it suffice
Merely to hoard in thine unequalled rays
The bright sequestered colours of the sun,
O pearl above all price,
And beautiful beyond all need of praise,
World-coveted but yet possessed of none,
Content in thy proud self-dominion?

Shall not some ultimate
And unknown hour deliver thee, an attest
Life's urgent and inviolable claim
To bind and consecrate
The glory on some pure and bridal breast,
Or set thee to enhance with flawless flame
A new-born nation's coronal of fame?

Or wilt thou self-denied
Forgo such sweet and sacramental ties
As weld Love's delicate bonds of ecstasy,
And in a barren pride
Of cold, unfruitful freedom that belies
The inmost secret of fine liberty
Return unblest into the primal sea?
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