Frank Dempster Sherman


His Starlight

by Frank Dempster Sherman

You who at my elbow sit,
By whose eyes my lines are lit,
How shall any poet's pen
Go amiss or falter when
Stars like these shine out above --
Beacons kindled there by Love --
Lighting up the paths below
Where he wanders to and fro.

Is it strange the rhymes should kiss
Under such a spell as this?
They but mimic those, my Sweet,
Who of old were wont to meet,
Meet and linger at the bars,
Making love beneath the stars:
We ourselves were happy rhymes
In those dear, betrothal times.

Take this lyric: every line
But reflects the stars that shine
O'er my shoulder, telling me
Of my sweetheart's constancy!
And if any word appear
Vague or needless, say you: Here
Went a cloud across his skies;
This is where its shadow lies.

But should any turn of phrase
Win your lips to speak its praise,
Know you then the happy thought
From your eyes the poet caught:
All the graces of his song
To those constant stars belong, --
To those tender eyes that brim
Full with love to gladden him.


Lyrics For A Lute
Copyright 1890
Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin, and Company