A Hymn

Thy bounty is a crystal well
    Where all the world may drink.
We bring bright cups, and can not tell
    What waits us at the brink.

One quaffs rich draughts of joy; and one,
    Lifting his strong arm high,
Some dear pledge shouting to the sun,
    Drains sorrow's chalice dry.

And one, wreathing his bowl for sleep,
    Quaffs years of bitter breath;
And one, hope's beaker dipping deep,
    Tastes the wide seas of death.

Yet crystal clear the waters rise
    From infinite realms of rest;
Each cup mirrors the glowing skies,
    And every drop is blest.

From Valeria and other poems (Chicago : A.C. McClurg & Company, 1892) by Harriet Monroe. This poem is in the public domain.