A flute to play a broken strain;
A prism to catch the light; a seive
To sift the seashore for a grain.
He who searches for a tale
Would grasp the glistering stars that shine,
And he who seeks the Holy Grail
Shall find at best a cup of wine.
Who then shall find the holy cup,
Or who shall grasp the starry strands?--
Must needs be small, and lifted up,
To pass into the Faerie lands.
No man can climb this mountain rare:
It is a blessing given, not bought,
To find the door, and enter there,
To drink from that immortal draught.
'Tis little I am, in sooth:
A candle-stub that longs for flame;
A cracked glass to reflect the truth;
A poem without a name.
But Thou art greater; Thou canst make
The broken flute to play aright--
The lame to walk, the sleeper wake--
A candle-stub set all alight.