Sidney Lanier

(1842-1881 / Macon / Georgia)

A Dedication. To Charlotte Cushman.


As Love will carve dear names upon a tree,
Symbol of gravure on his heart to be,

So thought I thine with loving text to set
In the growth and substance of my canzonet;

But, writing it, my tears begin to fall --
This wild-rose stem for thy large name's too small!

Nay, still my trembling hands are fain, are fain
Cut the good letters though they lap again;

Perchance such folk as mark the blur and stain
Will say, `It was the beating of the rain;'

Or, haply these o'er-woundings of the stem
May loose some little balm, to plead for them.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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