Kingship

By George Sterling

On whitest snows the darkest lies the stain.
    Fair are the flowers at the deadlier brinks,
    And he who deepest of life's nectar drinks
Has at the last the fouler dregs to drain.
Our dearest dreams are those that come in vain.
    Heavy the chain when golden are the links.
    Sadness is made the crown of him who thinks.
Each new ideal brings the heart new pain.

Nobility and sorrow somehow find
A kinship. In the exalted courts of mind
    Our laugh is jester and our grief is king.
        Tho happiness be found the fairest goal,
Man in his pleasure seems a trivial thing,
And tears the coronation of the soul.

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