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Menella Bute Smedley (Менелла Бьют Смедли)

A Discovery

The languid world went by me as I found
A jewel on the ground,
Under a silent weed,
A nameless glory set for none to heed.
“Stoop, see, and wonder!” was my joyful cry,
But still the languid world went only by.
I drew it forth, and set it on a hill;
They passed it still.
Some turned to look,
And said it was a pebble from the brook,
A dewdrop, only made to melt away,
A worthless mirror, with a borrowed ray.
Then on my knees I shouted forth its praise,
For nights and days.
“See with your eyes
A diamond shining only for the wise!
How is it that ye love not at first sight
This unfamiliar treasure of pure light?”
I set it on my breast. Then, with a sneer,
The world drew near.
They knew the sign
And secret of my praise; the thing was mine.
They left it to me with a bland disdain,
And hugged their tinsel to their hearts again.
I showed it to the dearest soul I had:
“You are not mad;
Let them go by;
We know it is a diamond, you and I.”
Coldly he answered, “If you love it so,
You need not me to praise it. Let me go.”
“It is my sin,” I cried with bitter tears,
“That no man hears.
I'll fling it down;
Some nobler hand shall set it in a crown.
I shall behold it honoured ere I die;
But no one could have loved it more than I!”

Menella Bute Smedley's other poems:
  1. A Day's Fishing
  2. Parting
  3. What We May See
  4. A Girl's Love Song
  5. The Fisherman's Wife

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