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Poems of Passion/Response

For works with similar titles, see Response.

I said this morning, as I leaned and threw
My shutters open to the Spring's surprise,
"Tell me, O Earth, how is it that in you
Year after year the same fresh feelings rise?
How do you keep your young exultant glee?
No more those sweet emotions come to me.

"I note through all your fissures how the tide
Of healthful life goes leaping as of old;
Your royal dawns retain their pomp and pride;
Your sunsets lose no atom of their gold.
How can this wonder be?" My soul's fine ear
Leaned, listening, till a small voice answered near:

"My days lapse never over into night;
My nights encroach not on the rights of dawn.
I rush not breathless after some delight;
I waste no grief for any pleasure gone.
My July noons burn not the entire year.
Heart, hearken well!" "Yes, yes; go on; I hear."

"I do not strive to make my sunsets' gold
Pave all the dim and distant realms of space.
I do not bid my crimson dawns unfold
To lend the midnight a fictitious grace.
I break no law, for all God's laws are good.
Heart, hast thou heard?" "Yes, yes; and understood."


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1919, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 99 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.