Why Silent? by Henry Timrod

Why am I silent from year to year?
Needs must I sing on these blue March days?
What will you say, when I tell you here,
That already, I think, for a little praise,
I have paid too dear?

For, I know not why, when I tell my thought,
It seems as though I fling it away;
And the charm wherewith a fancy is fraught,
When secret, dies with the fleeting lay
Into which it is wrought.

So my butterfly-dreams their golden wings
But seldom unfurl from their chrysalis;
And thus I retain my loveliest things,
While the world, in its worldliness, does not miss
What a poet sings.

From: Timrod, Henry and Hayne, Paul H. (ed.), The Poems of Henry Timrod. Edited, with a Sketch of the Poet’s Life, New Revised Edition, 1872, E. J. Hale & Son: New York, p. 86.
(https://docsouth.unc.edu/southlit/timrod/timrod.html)

Date: 1859

By: Henry Timrod (1829-1867)

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