Under the Skylight.

From: The Bird and the Bell with Other Poems (1875)
Author: Christopher Pearse Cranch
Published: Osgood and Company 1875 Boston


I HAVE no office with staring sign
Down in the noise of the crowded mart.
A window square to the sky is mine
In an humble loft, where all apart
I live, with my friends and books and art.

No currents of gold from Wall Street come
To breed the fever of loss and gain;
But the golden sunlight warms my home,
Or on my skylight patters the rain,
As I paint or sing my castles in Spain.

No checks that smile for a day, and melt,
The postman brings to my humble door;
But letters from friends whose love is felt
To be richer than all the golden store
Of the millionnaire whose soul is poor.

Gold is good, but ‘tis not the best.
True love’s bank, can it ever break?
What if it should? The sun in the west
Sinks and rises again, to make
A long, long banquet of Give and Take.

Time is passing, but time is renewed.
Life runs over with wealth untold.
Age grows younger in all that is good,
Reaping the fields where Youth stood cold
In the drear bare furrows, and dreamed of gold.

What if the light of our matin-prime
Pales in the storm with a struggling beam;
One ripe day of life’s latter time
Is worth a hundred of fitful gleam,
Is worth long years of an aimless dream.

O misty land of uncertain youth,
Low-lying swamps of fear and doubt!
We have left you below for the heights of truth.
We have found through the fogs a pathway out.
Below us the youths and maidens shout,

Wandering, careless, through roads unknown,
Wrapped in the soft, warm, vapory air.
Here in the clear, still upper zone
We see how wide is life, how fair,
While age’s light gilds age’s care.

What if the snow-wreath crown our heads?
We gain the electric strength of frost.
We are treading the path each mortal treads.
We are nearing the spring. We have counted the cost.
We trust, ay, know we shall not be lost.

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