Archive for September 9th, 2022

Friday, 9 September 2022

As Yesterday, So Today by Wilder Dwight Quint

“I fain would climb, but dare not, lest I fall.”
So wrote a gallant courtier of Queen Bess,
In days of ruffs, peaked beards, and regal dress,
When Faery Queens were dainty maidens all,
Each to her lover’s guess.

He fain would climb! For what? We may suppose
His quick hand wandered to his jeweled blade,
Eager for Spain’s dark blood, in England’s aid;
Or else he dreamed to stand within the muses’ close;
Or loved a maid.

But dare not! Ah! his courage failed him then:
Yet blame him not o’ermuch. His hilt of gold
Might ne’er win cherished fame when all was told:
The wayward muses frowned upon his upstart pen;
The maid was cold.

And so we live a space, and fain would climb
Like that gay cavalier in silken hose.
We treasure up a smile or withered rose:
Then courage fails. What might be ours in heights sublime,
Alas! who knows?

From:  Davis, O.S. and Baker, W.D. (eds.) Dartmouth Lyrics: A Collection of Poems from the Undergraduate Publications of Dartmouth College, 1888, Riverside Press: California, pp. 40-41.

Date: 1887

By: Wilder Dwight Quint (1863-1936)