The First-Born

By George Sterling

Poet, the years will give you wiser voice;
  But this, but this is morning! Dews delay,
  Ungathered by the day;
The lark is on the heaven's first turquoise.

You will drink water crystalline as this,
  But never nearer to the mountain spring;
  As clear your voice will ring,
But not for such an innocence of bliss.

Autumn will bring its many-colored fruit;
  But these are blossoms, tender on the bough.
  The shadows linger now,
And in the wood not any bird is mute.

You will heap gifts upon the altar-stone-
  Wrought with a subtler certainty of art;
  Not with such aching heart
Lay lilies you are glad to call your own.

Grown dark with service, the imprisoned stream,
  Once mirror to the mountain and the tree,
  Will gain at last the sea,
The surf's old thunders mingle with the dream;

But not from all the voices of its flight
  Shall that young music touch our hearts again
  In songs of sweeter pain,
Nor draw the gaze to dawns of purer light. 

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