by Joyce Kilmer
Not on the lute, nor harp of many strings
Shall all men praise the Master of all song.
Our life is brief, one saith, and art is long;
And skilled must be the laureates of kings.
Silent, O lips that utter foolish things!
Rest, awkward fingers striking all notes wrong!
How from your toil shall issue, white and strong,
Music like that God's chosen poet sings?
There is one harp that any hand can play,
And from its strings what harmonies arise!
There is one song that any mouth can say, --
A song that lingers when all singing dies.
When on their beads our Mother's children pray
Immortal music charms the grateful skies.