The Three Songs

Poem By Lucy Maud Montgomery

The poet sang of a battle-field
Where doughty deeds were done,
Where stout blows rang on helm and shield
And a kingdom's fate was spun
With the scarlet thread of victory,
And honor from death's grim revelry
Like a flame-red flower was won!
So bravely he sang that all who heard
With the sting of the fight and the triumph were stirred,
And they cried, "Let us blazon his name on high,
He has sung a song that will never die!"

Again, full throated, he sang of fame
And ambition's honeyed lure,
Of the chaplet that garlands a mighty name,
Till his listeners fired with the god-like flame
To do, to dare, to endure!
The thirsty lips of the world were fain
The cup of glamor he vaunted to drain,
And the people murmured as he went by,
"He has sung a song that will never die !"

And once more he sang, all low and apart,
A song of the love that was born in his heart:
Thinking to voice in unfettered strain
Its sweet delight and its sweeter pain;
Nothing he cared what the throngs might say
Who passed him unheeding from day to day,
For he only longed with his melodies
The soul of the one beloved to please.

The song of war that he sang is as naught,
For the field and its heroes are long forgot,
And the song he sang of fame and power
Was never remembered beyond its hour!
Only to-day his name is known
By the song he sang apart and alone,
And the great world pauses with joy to hear
The notes that were strung for a lover's ear.

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Other poems of MONTGOMERY

A Summer Day

I

The dawn laughs out on orient hills
And dances with the diamond rills;

A Day Off

Let us put awhile away
All the cares of work-a-day,
For a golden time forget,
Task and worry, toil and fret,

Down Home

Down home to-night the moonshine falls
Across a hill with daisies pied,
The pear tree by the garden gate
Beckons with white arms like a bride.

A Winter Dawn

Above the marge of night a star still shines,
And on the frosty hills the sombre pines
Harbor an eerie wind that crooneth low
Over the glimmering wastes of virgin snow.

Gratitude

I thank thee, friend, for the beautiful thought
That in words well chosen thou gavest to me,
Deep in the life of my soul it has wrought
With its own rare essence to ever imbue me,

Down Stream

Comrades, up! Let us row down stream in this first rare dawnlight,
While far in the clear north-west the late moon whitens and wanes;
Before us the sun will rise, deep-purpling headland and islet,
It is well to meet him thus, with the life astir in our veins!