The Poet

We are given pain to balance every joy,
We tragic-eyed divinities in dust.
Many the hearts life bleeds with little wounds,
The souls bewildered between God and lust.

We know the way of pity and pity's pain;
We know the unlit, endless street called Doubt;
And few but walk a black way at the end,
The piteous, hope-lit candles dead, burned out.

Yet these are mortal wounds of mortal thorns:
What of the few who suffer deadlier scars?
They are worse wounded than any in the world
Who bruise their lifted heads against the stars.

From On a Grey Thread (Will Ransom, 1923) by Elsa Gidlow. This poem is in the public domain.