Roll on, my song, and to after ages
 Tell how, disdaining all earth can give,
He would have taught men, from wisdom’s pages,
            The way to live.

And tell how trampled, derided, hated,
 And worn by weakness, disease, and wrong,
He fled for shelter to God, who mated
            His soul with song.

—With song which alway, sublime or vapid,
 Flow’d like a rill in the morning beam,
Perchance not deep, but intense and rapid—
            A mountain stream.

Tell how this Nameless, condemn’d for years long
 To herd with demons from hell beneath,
Saw things that made him, with groans and tears, long
            For even death.

Go on to tell how, with genius wasted,
 Betray’d in friendship, befool’d in love,
With spirit shipwreck’d, and young hopes blasted,
            He still, still strove;

Till, spent with toil, dreeing death for others
 (And some whose hands should have wrought for him,
If children live not for sires and mothers),
            His mind grew dim;

And he fell far through that pit abysmal,
 The gulf and grave of Maginn and Burns,
And pawn’d his soul for the devil’s dismal
            Stock of returns.

But yet redeem’d it in days of darkness,
 And shapes and signs of the final wrath,
When death, in hideous and ghastly starkness,
            Stood on his path.

And tell how now, amid wreck and sorrow,
 And want, and sickness, and houseless nights,
He bides in calmness the silent morrow,
            That no ray lights.

And lives he still, then? Yes! Old and hoary
 At thirty-nine, from despair and woe,
He lives, enduring what future story
            Will never know.

Him grant a grave to, ye pitying noble,
 Deep in your bosoms: there let him dwell!
He, too, had tears for all souls in trouble,
            Here and in hell.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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