TO A POET A THOUSAND YEARS HENCE
by: James Elroy Flecker
- WHO am
dead a thousand years,
- And wrote this sweet archaic song,
- Send you my words for messengers
- The way I shall not pass along.
- I care not if you bridge the seas,
- Or ride secure the cruel sky,
- Or build consummate palaces
- Of metal or of masonry.
- But have you wine and music still,
- And statues and a bright-eyed love,
- And foolish thoughts of good and ill,
- And prayers to them who sit above?
- How shall we conquer? Like a wind
- That falls at eve our fancies blow,
- And old Mæonides the blind
- Said it three thousand years ago.
- O friend unseen, unborn, unknown,
- Student of our sweet English tongue,
- Read out my words at night, alone:
- I was a poet, I was young.
- Since I can never see your face,
- And never shake you by the hand,
- I send my soul through time and space
- To greet you. You will understand.
MORE POEMS BY FLECKER
'To a Poet a Thousand Years Hence'
is reprinted from An Anthology of Modern Verse. Ed. A.
Methuen. London: Methuen & Co., 1921.