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The Two Lives (Poem)

My soul has ever loved to draw apart,
To steal unnoticed from the noisy din,
And listen to the voice within,
The still small whisper of the quiet heart.

I ever loved to listen long and deep,
And strain the spirits‘ inner ear to catch
The gentle lifting of the latch
Of chamber doors where sweetest visions sleep.

To watch those thoughts bestir themselves and rise,
Those pretty fancies which, all unaware,
Had trod the silent mental stair,
And found the way to inner sanctuaries.

I only asked for quiet, and to dream,
I never sighed for riches or for fame;
Each early morn my vision came,
I passed each day in memory of the gleam.

But now my suff’ring fellows pass me nigh,
Visions they cannot eat and drink and wear,
Their hearts are loaded down with care,
I am a dreamer, but I hear their cry.

Like as a child that sweetly smiles in sleep,
And, waking, finds the daylight gray and chill
So wakes my fancy into will,
So turns my dreaming into purpose deep.

My searching soul shall teach my hands to do
And human love shall teach my eyes to see,
Till with the truest harmony,
I dream a poem, and I live it too

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Ernest S. Leigh

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