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JOHN VANCE CHENEY
American author, poet and librarian
(1848 - 1922)

The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.
      - [Soul]

I pour into the world the eternal streams
  Wan prophets tent beside, and dream their dreams.
      - Beauty [Beauty]

To set the stones back in the wall
  Lest the divided house should fall.
    The beams of peace he laid,
      While kings looked on, afraid.
      - Lincoln [Lincoln, Abraham]

Unheralded, God's captain came
  As one that answers to his name;
    Nor dreamed how high his charge,
      His privilege how large.
      - Lincoln [Lincoln, Abraham]

I question not if thrushes sing,
  If roses load the air;
    Beyond my heart I need not reach
      When all is summer there.
      - Love's World [Summer]

A breath, whence no man knows,
  Swaying the grating weeds, it blows;
    It comes, it grieves, it goes.
      Once it rocked the summer rose.
      - Passing of Autumn [Autumn]

We look through gloom and storm-drift
  Beyond the years:
    The soul would have no rainbow
      Hard the eyes no tears.
      - Tears [Tears]

The message from the hedge-leaves,
  Heed it, whoso thou art;
    Under lowly eaves
      Lives the happy heart.
      - The Hedge-bird's Message [Happiness]

No command of art,
  No toil, can help you hear;
    Earth's minstrelsy falls clear
      But on the listening heart.
      - The Listening Heart [Heart]

The wind is awake, pretty leave, pretty leaves,
  Heed not what he says, he deceives, he deceives;
    Over and over
      To the lowly clover
        He has lisped the same love (and forgotten it, too).
          He will be lisping and pledging to you.
      - The way of it [Wind]

Holding occasion by the hand,
  Not over nice 'twixt weed and flower,
    Waiving what none can understand,
      I make mine hour.
      - This My Life [Opportunity]

If so men's memories not a monument be,
  None shalt thou have. Warm hearts, and not cold stone,
    Must mark thy grave, or thou shalt lie, unknown.
      Marbles keep not themselves; how then, keep thee?
      - Thy Monument [Lincoln, Abraham]


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