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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Barry Cornwall 1787–1874

A Poet’s Thought


TELL me, what is a poet’s thought?

Is it on the sudden born?

Is it from the starlight caught?

Is it by the tempest taught,

Or by whispering morn?

Was it cradled in the brain?

Chain’d awhile, or nurs’d in night?

Was it wrought with toil and pain?

Did it bloom and fade again,

Ere it burst to light?

No more question of its birth:

Rather love its better part!

’T is a thing of sky and earth,

Gathering all its golden worth

From the Poet’s heart.