James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

March 26


By Richard Watson Gilder (1844–1909)

(Died March 26, 1827)

I CAME to a great city. Palaces

Rose glittering, mile on mile. Here dwells the King,

The Emperor and King; here lived, here ruled

How many mountainous far-looming fames;

Here is the crown of shadowy Charlemagne.

What housing of what glorious dignities!

Yet in a narrow street, unfrequented,

No palace near—one name upon a wall,

And all these majesties seem small and shrunk:

For here unto the bitter end abode

He who from pain wrought noble joy for men,

He who from silence gave the world to song;

For in his mind an awful music rose

As when, in darkness of the under-seas,

Currents tremendous over currents pour.

He heard the soundless tone, its voice he was,

And he of vast humanity the voice,

And his the empire of the human soul.