Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt





                        A Prettier Book.


5   "HE has a prettier book than this,"
   With many a sob between, he said;
Then left untouched the night's last kiss,
   And, sweet with sorrow, went to bed.

A prettier book his brother had? –
10      Yet wonder-pictures were in each.
The different colors made him sad;
   The equal value – could I teach?

[98] Ah, who is wiser?... Here we sit,
   Around the world's great hearth, and look,
15   While Life's fire-shadows flash and flit,
   Each wistful in another's book.

I see, through fierce and feverish tears,
   Only a darkened hut in mine;
Yet in my brother's book appears
20      A palace where the torches shine.

A peasant, seeking bitter bread
   From the unwilling earth to wring,
Is in my book; the wine is red,
   There in my brother's, for the king.
[99] A wedding, where each wedding-guest
   Has wedding garments on, in his, –
In mine one face in awful rest,
   One coffin never shut, there is!

In his, on many a bridge of beams
30      Between the faint moon and the grass,
Dressed daintily in dews and dreams,
   The fleet midsummer fairies pass;

In mine unearthly mountains rise,
   Unearthly waters foam and roll,
35   And – stared at by its deathless eyes –
   The master sells the fiend a soul!

[100] ... Put out the lights.   We will not look
   At pictures any more.   We weep,
"My brother has a prettier book,"
     And, after tears, we go to sleep.






S. M. B. Piatt: A Voyage to The Fortunate Isles, etc.
Boston: J. R. Osgood and Company 1874, S. 97-100.

Die Textwiedergabe erfolgt nach dem ersten Druck (Editionsrichtlinien).






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Lyriktheorie » R. Brandmeyer