Home  »  library  »  Song  »  Dora Sigerson Shorter (1866–1918)

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Dora Sigerson Shorter (1866–1918)

Unknown Ideal

WHOSE is the voice that will not let me rest?

I hear it speak.

Where is the shore will gratify my quest,

Show what I seek?

Not yours, weak Muse, to mimic that far voice,

With halting tongue;

No peace, sweet land, to bid my heart rejoice

Your groves among.

Whose is the loveliness I know is by,

Yet cannot place?

Is it perfection of the sea or sky,

Or human face?

Not yours, my pencil, to delineate

The splendid smile!

Blind in the sun, we struggle on with fate

That glows the while.

Whose are the feet that pass me, echoing

On unknown ways?

Whose are the lips that only part to sing

Through all my days?

Not yours, fond youth, to fill mine eager eyes

That still adore

Beauty that tarries not, nor satisfies

For evermore.