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To A Poet A Thousand Years Hence
James Elroy Flecker (1884-1915)

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James Elroy Flecker

Theme:  Poetry and Poets

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When James Elroy Flecker died at the age of 30,  an un-named contemporary commented, "unquestionably the greatest premature loss that English literature has suffered since the death of Keats".
- S. H. Bass

Forty-Two Poems by James Elroy Flecker

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To A Poet A Thousand Years Hence
James Elroy Flecker (1884-1915), English poet
                                                                                                    reading of Flecker's To A Poet A Thousand Years Hence
I who am dead a thousand years,
And wrote this sweet archaic song,
Send you my words for messengers
The way I shall not pass along.

I care not if you bridge the seas.
Or ride secure the cruel sky,
Or build consummate palaces
Of metal or of masonry.

But have you wine and music still,
And statues and a bright-eyed love,
And foolish thoughts of good and ill.
And prayers to them that sit above?
How shall we conquer? Like a wind
That falls at eve our fancies blow,
And old Moeonides the blind
Said it three thousand years ago.

O friend, unseen, unborn, unknown,
Student of our sweet English tongue.
Read out my words at night, alone :
I was a poet, I was young.

Since I can never see your face,
And never shake you by the hand,
I send my soul through time and space
To greet you.  You will understand.

from The Le Gallienne Book of English Verse (1922)


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