I FEEL a poem in my heart to-night,
A still thing growing,--
As if the darkness to the outer light
A song were owing:
A something strangely vague, and sweet, and sad,
Fair, fragile, slender;
Not tearful, yet not daring to be glad,
And oh, so tender!
It may not reach the outer world at all,
Despite its growing;
Upon a poem-bud such cold winds fall
To blight its blowing.
But, oh, whatever may the thing betide,
Free life or fetter,
My heart, just to have held it till it died,
Will be the better!
- Mary Ashley Townsend
(1832 - 1901)