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

Menella Bute Smedley (1820–1877)

A Discovery

THE LANGUID world went by me as I found

A jewel on the ground,

Under a silent weed,

A nameless glory set for none to heed.

“Stoop, see, and wonder!” was my joyful cry,

But still the languid world went only by.

I drew it forth, and set it on a hill:

They passed it still.

Some turned to look,

And said it was a pebble from the brook;

A dewdrop, only made to melt away;

A worthless mirror, with a bordered ray.

Then on my knees I shouted forth its praise

For nights and days.

“See with your eyes

A diamond shining only for the wise!

How is it that you love not at first sight

This unfamiliar treasure of pure light?”

I set it on my breast. Then, with a sneer,

The world drew near.

They knew the sign

And secret of my praise: the thing was mine.

They left it to me with a bland disdain,

And hugged their tinsel to their hearts again.

I showed it to the dearest soul I had:—

“You are not mad;

Let them go by:

We know it is a diamond, you and I.”

Coldly he answered, “If you love it so,

You need not me to praise it. Let me go.”

“It is my sin,” I cried with bitter tears,

“That no man hears.

I’ll fling it down:

Some nobler hand shall set it in a crown.

I shall behold it honored ere I die;

But no one could have loved it more than I!”