September 10, 2006

The Warblogger's Poem

A Pen of Steel
George Pratt.1832 --1875

GIVE me a pen of steel!
Away with the gray goose-quill!
I will grave the thoughts I feel
With a fiery heart and will:
I will grave with the stubborn pen
On the tablets of the heart,
Words never to fade again
And thoughts that shall ne'er depart.

Give me a pen of steel!
Hardened and bright and keen,
To run like the chariot wheel,
When the battle-flame is seen:
And give me the warrior's heart,
To struggle thro' night and day,
And to write with this thing of art
Words clear as the lightning's play.

Give me a pen of steel!
The softer age is done,
And the thoughts that lovers feel
Have long been sought and won:
No more of the gray goose-quill—
No more of the lover's lay—
I have done with the minstrel's skill,
And I change my path to-day.

Give me a pen of steel!
I will tell to after-times
How nerve and iron will
Are poured to the world in rhymes:
How the soul is changed to power,
And the heart is changed to flame,
In the space of a passing hour
By poverty and shame!

Give me a pen of steel!
But even this shall rust,
The touch of time shall feel,
And crumble away to dust:
So perishes my heart,
Corroding day by day
And laid like the pen apart,
Worn out and cast away!


GEORGE PRATT died at his home in Norwich on the 4th of June, 1875, after a severe illness of nearly three weeks. He was in the full vigor of manhood, being forty-two years of age, and had arrived at a period of his professional career which was most honorable to himself, and gave promise of great eminence and usefulness for the future.

Posted by Vanderleun at September 10, 2006 10:02 AM
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