Compensation

By George Sterling

When life is fully ripened are not we
    What we remember, as our hearts enfold
    The beauty closed within like hoarded gold—
Far music of a love that could not be,
Old sorrows that are sweet in reverie?
    Deep, deep within, the wonder is retold,
    As whorly shells or ancient pinewoods hold
The memory of the voices of the sea.

Day dies, and night has still her faithful stars,
    Seen better than with youth's impatient sight.
        Brighter for darkness comes each loyal beam,
And through this life's uncomprehended bars
    The flooding beauty of unearthly light
        And drift of golden shadows in our dream.

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