Quotation by Herman Melville

But seldom the laurel wreath is seen
Unmixed with pensive pansies dark;
There's a light and a shadow on every man
Who at last attains his lifted mark—
Nursing through night the ethereal spark.
Elate he never can be;
He feels that spirits which glad had hailed his worth,
Sleep in oblivion.—The shark
Glides white through the phosphorus sea.
Herman Melville (1819–1891), U.S. poet, novelist. Commemorative of a Naval Victory (l. 19–27). . .

Selected Poems of Herman Melville. Hennig Cohen, ed. (1991) Fordham University Press.
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