HERE, aloof, I take my stand—
Poet of a newer land,
Confident, aggressive, lonely,
Product of the present only,
Thinking nothing of the past.
If some word of mine abide,
Yet no immortality
Looks my soul for; satisfied,
Though my voice be evanescent,
If it sing the pregnant present
And the birth that is to be.
All the beauty that has been,
All of wisdom's overplus,
Has been given me to glean;
In Earth's story clear one page is—
This—the widest of the ages—
Virile, vast, tumultuous.
I shall croon no love-song old,
Dream no memory of wrong,
Build no mighty epic bold;
From my forge I send them flying—
Fragments glowing once and dying—
Scattered sparks of molten song.
If I bring no gospel bright,
Still my little stream of song
Quavers thinly through the night,
Burdened with a broken yearning,
Still persistent, though discerning
Life has shadows, sorrow, wrong.
So my life shall be my verse.
Here's my record, stand or fall I
Failure may be mine, or worse,
In the twilight land of living—
With no doubt and no misgiving,
Here's my life-blood, breath and all!