Patrick Regan has kindly shared the material from his George Heath site with readers of the Victorian Web, who may wish to consult the original.
A young man rose with a silvery tongue;
His eyes were bright, and his heart was strong,
And he vowed in the ears of the men of the world
He knew, and would sing them a marvellous song;
Whereat some laughed good humouredly:
The lips of many with scorn were curled;
"Go on, and be brave," said a few; but more
Were deaf to his voice as the stones could be.
But the youth of the cup of ambition sipped,
And his brow grew bold, though he trembled sore;
His looks went up a long patch in the sky,
Then sought the earth for a loving eye;
He touched a rude harp with meaning high.
And his voice rose clearly and broke among
The eddying people's, and rolled along.
For the cheers or the jeers he heeded naught;
His soul the scope of a burning thought;
The fire of his lofty theme had caught;
And he sang with never a stop or stay,
For his labouring breath and his pulses' play,
Till Fate stole up and the ballad ripped:
Then the singer faltered and stammered long,
And, last broke down in the midst of his song,
To the pity and pain of a few in the throng,
And the proud content of the scornful lipped.
O woe! for the wings that so soon were clipped,
The wings that dreamed of the sun!
A grave deep down by the chapel wall,
But two feet wide and a fathom long —
A tiny dot of the earth holds all
That the earth could claim, from which he sprung,
Of the singer who deemed the great world too small
To hold the revealings that rose to his tongue —
Of the burden and bent of his soul and his song.
Last modified 4 September 2002