To George Sterling (2)

By Herbert Heron

In Death's republic lies the Raven Bard,
  And there in magic slumber on his tomb,
Waits Poetry with folded wings. A guard
  Of wan pretenders battle back the gloom
Intrenched about the broken form that held
  The lonely beauty of Poe's spirit-flame.
    Despairingly, from younger hearts and old,
      We call, by need compelled;
  Yet still she dreams in marble sleep: her name
    Is lost among the shadows and the cold.

But hark! A sound beyond the darkness breaks,
  Like music of the sea from isles afar;
And morning flashes on the mountain lakes
In gold and purple to its herald star.
Up from the bier of him we cease to mourn,
  Waked by a harp upon a westward shore,
      Rises the winged Spirit through the gray
        Of Europe's rack of scorn.
  Above the deep her splendid pinions soar:
    The clouds are fire; the shadows melt in day.

How fared thy Keats, O England?
        Call thine own!
  And yet 'twere shame Rome rendered him to thee
Who drave him, in the guard of Death alone,
  To foreign sleep across a foreign sea—
A soul of wonder opening on the world!
  Now flames a nearer strand: with burning lip
      The Poet of the Sun dispels the night,
        And we, our hopes unfurled,
Sail in the dawn on his enchanted ship
  O'er oceans of immeasurable light.

Overland Monthly and Out West Magazine, Dec 1927, Volume LXXXV, Number 12, pg. 372.