Talent And Genius

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ON the high road travelling steady,
Sure, alert, and ever ready,
Prompt to seize all fit occasion,
Courting power and wealth and station;
One clear aim before him keeping
With a vigilance unsleeping;
Prizing most the ephemeral flower
Blooming for a brilliant hour;
With self-conscious action moving;
Well known truths intent on proving;
Radiant in his day and season
With the world's reflected reason;
Noting times, effects, and causes,
Phaon wins the crowd's applauses.
Wing'd like an eagle o'er mountains and meadows,
Lit by their splendors or hid by their shadows;
Borne by a power supernal, resistless;
Dreaming through trances abstracted and listless;
Swooping capricious to faults and to errors,
Redeemed by a virtue unconscious of terrors;
Linking with ease his result and endeavor;
Opening through chaos fresh pathways forever;
Gilding the world with his thoughts and his fancies;
Scornful of fashions and heedless of chances;
Yet in obscurity living and dying —
Hylas, a voice in the wilderness crying,
Only is heard when no hand can restore him,
Only is known when the grave closes o'er him.

© Christopher Pearse Cranch